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  • Boundary Law Answers

    “When is a fence not a boundary?” The answer may be as simple as “When it is just a fence.” But assessing the significance of a fence is often a daunting exercise. Is the remnant of a fence (as in this picture of a cedar fence post with two strands of barbed wire) evidence of a boundary? Could it be evidence of the extent of possession? Answers to such seemingly simple questions can be elusive unless the context, origin, and legal importance of such evidence can be determined.

    Some might think that the preferred evidence of a boundary corner is a survey monument. Ideally, yes. Practically, such is seldom the case. Even when encountered, an original survey monument is evaluated in terms of original position and provenance. “When does a survey monument not mark a boundary?” In this picture, the answer is simply “When it is a garden ornament.”

    Unlike engineering or mathematics, a property retracement problem may not have a clear solution. The “mathematically correct” answer may be based on incomplete information that does not include the evaluation of all available evidence. Since every retracement survey has the potential of being reviewed by a court, adopting an approach that uses the same principles a court would apply in determining a boundary location, increases the likelihood that the surveyor’s work is “legally correct”. In this 5-min video:

  • an instructor for Four Point Learning uses Internet resources, interactive whiteboard and voice-over as integrated tools to explain an approach to writing a survey report that deals with evidence and boundary principles.

    Another useful resource in the application of legal principles to facts established through evidence is:

    This free monthly e-newsletter provides a review and commentary of current cases involving some issue or aspect of property title and boundary law.

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Current Issue: Constraining Property Rights to Protect the Flow of Water

Linking Parcel Title
and Parcel Boundary:
Improving Title Certainty

This second annual conference reviewed recent developments in boundary law as emerging from courts. The format of this full-day event consists of a series of speakers focusing on topics of interest to both lawyers and surveyors. >> more

This self-paced course explores all aspects surrounding the preparation of the professional land surveyor in Canada to assist — as an expert witness — the decision maker in a legal proceeding.  >> more

This webinar explores several problem scenarios and outlines solutions in working with lawyers and real estate agents to avoid and resolve disputes.  >> more

This webinar provides a review of the legal framework by which liability to third parties can arise and makes suggestions for how to reduce the risks.  >> more

This webinar for surveyors across Canada introduces resources and techniques to conduct their own case law and legislation research.  >> more

This seminar provides effective communication and professional relationship management techniques.  >> more

This e-Monograph is a collection of articles compiled around a central theme: the interplay between the nature of legal interests and the ability to represent their 3-dimensional spatial extent.  >> more

A strategic partnership has been struck between York University, AOLS and Four Point Learning to deliver Survey Law courses. Survey Law 1 provides a foundation for professional surveyors to integrate legal principles, legislation and regulations within the overall framework of property boundary surveys in Ontario.