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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Corner Moved by Neighbor

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Idaho

    This is a bit complicated. Sorry if it takes a lot to explain...

    My parents own some property which has a road along one property line. All the neighbors use this road and some (I don't think all) have an easement. However, the easement is for access on the adjoining neighbors property. In fact, if the road were moved about 30 feet to the north, it would be where it's supposed to be according to the easement. The property line was also recently re-surveyed by the neighbors (more on the line later).

    The neighbors really didn't understand what their easements said. My mom likes to fly off the handle when discussing anything with any of the neighbors, so I eventually jumped in and pointed out to one of them how to read it. He went home to think about it and stopped by a few days later to say that we were correct and he was sorry about getting it wrong.

    Word got around to the other neighbors as to what the problem was and they appeared to want to put the road where it was supposed to be. One question I had was if they are obligated to do this? Since they've been using the road for a long time, do they have any right to keep using it if they already have an easement to a road on the neighbors property?

    Here comes the more pressing issue. While the neighbors wanting to fix the road is a great step, my mom was not happy with them at all because she thinks the property line is off and that they need to figure that out first. I agree that if the line is off, it needs fixed first, but I'm not sure what we can do about it.

    As I understand it, a long time ago (30 years or so), one of the neighbors had altered a corner that moved the property line more onto my parents property. He apparently buried something under a cattle guard in the middle of the road and then wrote up some kind of affidavit to say that was the corner. Isn't that kind of suspicious? I'm not sure what the affidavit says though.

    And apparently this neighbor had told one of the other neighbors that he had done this. My mom asked that neighbor if she would sign an affidavit affirming that she was told this and she agreed. They tried to present this to a surveyor that my parents had hired to figure out where the real line was. The surveyor told them that there was no way he was changing the corner unless there was physical proof of where it was at.

    One of the older surveys (I think slightly before the new corner was put in) referenced rocks as being the corner. Just a few years back, another surveyor (I think from the State) went in to find that corner and tried and tried to find the rocks. Spent all day digging in the neighbors field and came up empty.

    So I guess I really want to know if getting an affidavit from the one neighbor stating that the other neighbor told her he moved the corner is really worth getting? And if it is, what do we do with it? Record it at the courthouse? It doesn't sound like the surveyor would fix it anyway. I'd really like to be able to tell my mom whether it's a waste of time to do this. She thinks it's really important. Is there anything else we should be looking at?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    El Dorado County, CA

    Default Re: Corner Moved by Neighbor

    Neighbor's story about what another neighbor said is heresay and not worth much under the circumstances.

    A surveyor can use that statement as a clue about where to look for the true corner if indeed it was moved, but that's about the extent of the statement's usefulness.

    If your parents have good reason to believe the first surveyor they hired is wrong about the line, they can hire another one. But they need to realize that no ethical surveyor is going to put the line where they want it just because they are paying the bill. The line is where it is regardless of who is paying the bill.

    The neighbors are under no obligation to get another survey. Whoever is doubting the line is obligated to prove it otherwise.

    As to whether your neighbors are obligated to move the road will depend upon ID law with respect to prescriptive use easements. If the road can be moved, and they are willing to move it, why raise the question? They want to do the right thing, let 'em do it.

    If they change their mind about moving it and your folks want it moved, consult an attorney who practices in real estate issues.

    Sounds to me like your mom may end up being her own worst enemy by forcing a fight where things might otherwise work themselves out to her favor. My ma was the same way. She's probably still at the gates of heaven, refusing to enter until St. Peter rolls out a red carpet for her.

    Good luck with that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Corner Moved by Neighbor

    That's pretty much the answer I expected. Thanks.

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