My question involves real estate located in the State of: Arkansas
I am 65 and since I was a small child, my Father has walked the boundaries of our prosperity with me every once in a while. He passed away 10 years ago. The West corners of our 80 acres were marked with stone markers that predate either of us and our western fence runs between these two markers and also predated us. The property is the E/2 SE/4 of 18-12-30. Over the years I have seen many surveys done for other property where the surveyor started at the SE corner of Section 18 and traversed to my SW corner and then to my NW corner and always agreed that the stone markers were the corner marks.
In 1973 my father approached the owners of the 80 acres directly to the west of our property described as W/2 SE/4 of 18-12-30, for the purpose of allowing our cattle to graze on it. The property was unfenced at the time and they told my father he could run our cattle on the land at no cost if we would fence it in. They agreed to have a property survey done. The survey was completed in late October 1973 and we constructed a barb wire fence along the marker ribbons laid down by the surveyor. I have a copy of that survey in my abstract. The survey shows the Eastern border as running between the two stone markers mentioned above The NW corner stone could not be located so the surveyors marked the point where it should be. In 1990 I purchased this additional 80 acres. Many years went by. Many surveys were done, and all agreed with the fence lines we had set down.
About 2 years ago the property to the North of this western 80 acres was sold and the new owners had it surveyed. The Surveyors came with GPS receivers and proceed to mark a new line on the Northern end. They placed a marker in my eastern field about 165 feet to the East and 32 feet to the south and said that was the correct corner, not the stone. Their ribbons followed my fence exactly East to West except for being 32 feet to the South. The kicker, it is the same surveyor that did the 1973 survey. I asked they why there was such a huge difference and they said "Well we have more accurate instruments now". I told them I thought the marker stones took precedence and they told me no. And of course the Western corner marker previously marked is relocate also. The owners told me they wanted me to move my fence to the correct surveyed markers. I told them I disputed the correctness of the survey, and nothing has been done since by them.
Recently I was going to sell the north 20 acres of my original 80. A potential buyer without my permission yet had a survey done, again by the same company (They charge about half as much as other surveyors). They flagged the entire line splitting my two 80 acres and showed it being about 165 feet to the east of the fence. The southern marker stone was also incorrect they said.
In looking at several survey jobs they have done for larger parcels seem to show a pattern of shifting the boundaries to the east and south. If this is true, about every fence in the county needs relocated not to mention how many buildings probably are outside the line.
This is not a case of adverse possession, but one of where the correct boundary is upon the earth.
1. Don't ancient stone markers take precedence over GPS?
2. Is the survey done by the previous owner in 1973 usable by me since I purchased the property?
3. What should I do? I was thinking I need to have a court decide the boundary once and for all. Seems to me that if the 1973 survey is upheld, then we are done. If it is ruled that the GPS survey is correct then the survey company should pay to have my fence relocated since it was placed according to their markers. I don't consider any action against my new neighbor to the North as they are just another innocent victim in the whole thing.
Being retired and living on a fixed income, another survey would hurt, as would hiring a lawyer. Letting it go seems like a way to lose any rights I have. Just don't know what to do.