Property Boundary Dispute

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I think if you explain to the police that there is a property dispute, and that you had it surveyed, then the pins disappeared, you might ask them to politely have a conversation with the neighbor that while in no way are they saying he did anything, that he should be made aware the penalties if someone were caught doing it. I think the local police would do this, bigger cities maybe not.

Concrete and chain link fence poles are cheap not pretty but might get the point across.

Don't cheap out on the camera, I'd say if you are getting it for $250 the picture you are getting isn't going to be great, to often people buy cheaper cameras and don't get what they want out of the quality, especially in low light, so I'd definitely test it before I'd trust it.

Have the crazy neighbor redirect his roof drainage pipe away and OFF your dad's property; make the dude have to go through some sort of inconvenience for all the trouble he's causing your pops. I mostly lurk but this thread has been very interesting to follow, as I live in CA where everyone has a fence for everything. Thanks for the constant updates OP!

corporateclaw said:   Looking forward to hearing how the lawsuit goes.

Love to say "I told you so", so "I told you so, OP."

filliy said:   3. Install a IR/Motion camera on the garage that watches that side of the house. I can do this and a motion light to go with it for about $250..I was thinking about this option earlier. Any sort of hunting or deer camera should work out well, and not be too hard on the budget. Good luck.

I don't think one camera will be enough. At this point the survey pins are probably the least of your parents' problems. They would be better off with camera coverage of the entire property. When two old and bored crazies are going at it, anything can happen...

I have a feeling fatwallet will hack up this link.. but this is what I was thinking of. Bit more than I thought. I have plenty of Cat6 laying around and a POE injector is about $30.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=922823&is...

Parents called a lawyer and she said don't bother calling the police..have the surveyor come back and re"pin" with 4 foot tall orange posts and video tape him in the process of doing that.

IANAL, but I'm very surprised with the "don't bother calling the police" advice.

ETA: From the specs, looks like good resolution for the money on that camera. Of course the downside to fixed position is that the neighbor could get up to all kinds shenanigans out of view. Do you think one camera will do it?

dbond79 said:   IANAL, but I'm very surprised with the "don't bother calling the police" advice.

ETA: From the specs, looks like good resolution for the money on that camera. Of course the downside to fixed position is that the neighbor could get up to all kinds shenanigans out of view. Do you think one camera will do it?


yeah, that's pretty crappy advice (and technically illegal advice in most jurisdictions, since you are technically required to report crimes if you see them happening, and I guess you didn't see this happening, but, you know).

EDIT: I mean, calling the police is mostly going to be a waste of time, but it could help and it's not like OP's dad is going to be doing anything other than stewing about that sumabitch that stole his survey rods.

Seriously don't understand not putting up a fence at this point in time. You have a survey and a crazy neighbor......that seems like a perfect scenerio to put up a fence (at least a cheap one). I'd also ask the guy to move his downspout.

cristinaaaron said:   Seriously don't understand not putting up a fence at this point in time. You have a survey and a crazy neighbor......that seems like a perfect scenerio to put up a fence (at least a cheap one). I'd also ask the guy to move his downspout.If code allows, a sturdy & imposing fence mounted securely on a concrete & block/brick foundation. Document asking the guy to keep from dumping his rainwater onto your dad's property.

I don't understand the neighbors motivation. Are they just crazy?

If they just let things be, your dad seemed content to continue to allow usage and access like its always been. Instead they decide to move pins...

Agree that the "don't call police" advice is definitely wrong. From experience I can tell you that you definitely want to get a complaint on the record about the pins being moved. You don't have to accuse anyone, but make the local PD aware of the problem and any suspicions you have. Cops aren't stupid, they will know who moved the pins. Just by them questioning the neighbor might be enough to make him stop. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

Also, if this conflict continues, and you end up in court. You will want to have that police report as part of your evidence. Otherwise it is your word against the neighbor, which isn't worth much in court.

The neighbor did see/confront the surveyor out there doing the work. There are other markers that didn't move, right ? I'm actually pretty impressed about taking the effort to extract a well sunk piece of rebar and think that's a bad sign of the neighbor's idiocy.

Judging by the google maps image from the street looking between your houses (again, it's a 2009 image) it looks like your neighbor had some rather overgrown bushes between the houses that were severely encroaching. They've since been cleaned up/cut back pretty severely, but it does suggest the neighbor has a rather warped view of where his property line is if the survey is accurate. I would suggest the neighbor is provided a copy of the PA law about survey markers, the receipt your dad incurred for the survey (at least the price visible and the company that did it), and a copy of the picture you took with the original marker placement. If that doesn't cool his heels, he's welcome to pay for his own survey and see if it differs, right ? You (or your dad) may need to pay for the marker to be put back..... but it'd be a pretty strong statement.

It might not be bad sending a formal letter via certified mail stating the father's boundary and intent to build a fence if such markers are ever found to be relocated/missing in the future. It would be very, very difficult for your neighbor to do anything with that side of their house so close to the property line if a fence were built.

You did make it sound like this had been brewing for a while, so maybe your dad really does need a fence.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/18/00.033..HTM
3312. Destruction of a survey monument.

(a) Offense defined.--

(1) A person commits a summary offense if he intentionally cuts, injures, damages, destroys, defaces or removes any survey monument or marker, other than a natural object such as a tree or stream.

(2) A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he willfully or maliciously cuts, injures, damages, destroys, defaces or removes any survey monument or marker in order to call into question a boundary line.

(b) Restitution.--Any person convicted of violating this section shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed, be liable for the cost of the reestablishment of permanent survey monuments or markers by a professional land surveyor and all reasonable attorney fees.

(c) Affirmative defense.--It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution for an offense under this section that the survey monument or marker was improperly placed by a professional land surveyor.

(d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Professional land surveyor." As defined under the act of May 23, 1945 (P.L.913, No.367), known as the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law.

"Survey monument or marker." Any object adopted or placed by a professional land surveyor to define the boundaries of a property, including, but not limited to, natural objects such as trees or streams, or artificial monuments such as iron pins, concrete monuments, set stones or party walls. The phrase does not include a wooden stake placed by a professional land surveyor as a temporary marker or placeholder.

Geez - makes my blood boil just like when I was going through this. Not good for your parents health. I know I had many sleepless nights because I would wake up angry thinking about it. My other neighbor removed the pin that showed the boundary between his driveway and mine. I decided to get a new driveway to really distinguish the two apart after that (needed one anyway). My surveyor had also marked the lines with his saw in the driveways on both sides of my property so I explained to the concrete guy what had happened and showed him the saw marks. The day I got the driveway the neighbor came running out of the house demanding I show the concrete guy where the pin was (knowing full well it was gone). He also called building and zoning to object. The concrete guys completely ignored him.

Get a small cornered fence or have a landscape company place a very large boulder (right where the gutter once was - after you remove it and gently place it on his property) to mark the property on the same day that the surveyor comes back. Even a little 90 degree masonry wall would look nice.

Make sure you immediately mark the boundary with no trespass signs this time so you can have him hauled off to jail next time.

Why doesn't your dad just replace a marker 6 inches further on neighbor's property where your dad thought it was?
Let neighbor pay for a survey to prove the replaced marker is wrong.

Stuff an old towel into the downspout on your side of the property line.

Sounds like the neighbor figured out a way to bankrupt your dad, $150 at a time.

Had a problem finding my pin. Neighbor had pins marked out before installing expensive fence. Almost lost location of pin again. Had old piece of lolli column laying around. Cleaned it and painted it white. Dug a hole along side of pin and installed lolli col and it sticks up a good foot. Did not want to install a piece of pipe stilling out of ground, concern someone would fall on it. No more problem on finding it. In your case rent an auger (after calling dig safe 811) and install 4ft lolli column into the ground with cement on bottom of column. Good luck on trying to remove that in the middle of the night. Or install fence, which base on your dad's neighbor's behavior maybe the best thing to do.

As for camera brands I'd go with Axis, every time I try and get a different one I end up coming back to Axis cameras, not cheap, but worth every penny (Not very FW of me I know ). All of ours are POE, some are using the Station Client (pricey) and others just write to a NAS/PC Share depending on the business.

cristinaaaron said:   Stuff an old towel into the downspout on your side of the property line.

Great Stuff seals better.

tinlizzy said:   Geez - makes my blood boil just like when I was going through this. Not good for your parents health. I know I had many sleepless nights because I would wake up angry thinking about it. My other neighbor removed the pin that showed the boundary between his driveway and mine. I decided to get a new driveway to really distinguish the two apart after that (needed one anyway). My surveyor had also marked the lines with his saw in the driveways on both sides of my property so I explained to the concrete guy what had happened and showed him the saw marks. The day I got the driveway the neighbor came running out of the house demanding I show the concrete guy where the pin was (knowing full well it was gone). He also called building and zoning to object. The concrete guys completely ignored him.

What happened next? Did the building/zoning department follow up?

I think it's worth marking the location of the pins with paint marks, perhaps a small arrow on your side pointing toward the pin.

NEDeals said:   tinlizzy said:   Geez - makes my blood boil just like when I was going through this. Not good for your parents health. I know I had many sleepless nights because I would wake up angry thinking about it. My other neighbor removed the pin that showed the boundary between his driveway and mine. I decided to get a new driveway to really distinguish the two apart after that (needed one anyway). My surveyor had also marked the lines with his saw in the driveways on both sides of my property so I explained to the concrete guy what had happened and showed him the saw marks. The day I got the driveway the neighbor came running out of the house demanding I show the concrete guy where the pin was (knowing full well it was gone). He also called building and zoning to object. The concrete guys completely ignored him.

What happened next? Did the building/zoning department follow up?

I think it's worth marking the location of the pins with paint marks, perhaps a small arrow on your side pointing toward the pin.


The location is clearly marked now by the entire length of the new driveway. He removed the pin in the corner - which was actually up the driveway a couple feet (the first few feet is city property technically). I didn't have the surveyor re-pin because I had the survey recorded at the county recorder's office and anyone with a tape measure can figure out where the line is because the other 3 pins are intact.

I saw a city worker next door talking to him but never heard a word. That survey proved where my property line was and I have a right to do whatever I wish to my own property. If someone disputes it then they will have to get a more recent survey that differs from mine and go from there. I'm not worried about it though because it was an engineering survey and matched the neighbors survey boundary to the east.

What I've learned is that once a fence or a driveway goes down on your property and any length of time has passed, you cannot get it removed - at least in my city.

If I ever buy another house, a survey will be the first thing I get done.

taxmantoo said:   cristinaaaron said:   Stuff an old towel into the downspout on your side of the property line.

Great Stuff seals better.

I used a properly sized rock, coupled with some Dry-Lok hydraulic cement on a 4" PVC pipe that my neighbor decided to run onto my property from a newly installed downspout. That stuff really works!

Wow, what a great thread. I can't believe it flew under my radar for so long. There are probably some lessons here for all of us...

OP, next time, try jazzing up the title a bit...something like: "Ongoing turf war with dad's crazy old guy neighbor gets crazier UPDATE: Now with PICS!!!!"

FW community, if an OP does a good job updating the thread, we probably ought to think about greening the initial OP to increase the rating. I know when I am scanning FWF I am looking a) for fun titles (or titles I can actually contribute to) and b) for heavily greened/redded posts. I can't imagine I'm the only one who browses this way, but I never thought of trying to help that process along for others. I will from now on.

Overall, great job OP on keeping the thread updated and, by its very nature, quite entertaining.

Bump for updates after last weekend

Yeah.. this is the only topic I'm getting notifications on.. I'm intrigued, we almost had a property dispute but luckily no one argued the survey, I just ended up with 10 feet of property on the back side of my lot

There's nothing exciting to update as of yet. My mom stuck a white stick in the hole my dad dug attempting to find the marker - that stick is still there. Maybe the orange was annoying the neighbor. He usually waves at me (I come and go quite often) even if he ignores my dad, but he's stopped waving at me.

In other news I did pass the primary and I'm on the General election ballot for Town Council in the fall. A little more official than a condo association I suppose.

congrats, and good luck!

filliy said:   There's nothing exciting to update as of yet. My mom stuck a white stick in the hole my dad dug attempting to find the marker - that stick is still there. Maybe the orange was annoying the neighbor. He usually waves at me (I come and go quite often) even if he ignores my dad, but he's stopped waving at me.

In other news I did pass the primary and I'm on the General election ballot for Town Council in the fall. A little more official than a condo association I suppose.

Your campaign slogan should be "A Chicken In Every Pot And A Surveyor's Pin On Every Boundary Line".

Property is re-staked, moved pins were removed. This time there are 5 stakes down the length and each stake entered into the surveyors GPS database. Parents have a letter prepped for the neighbor telling him to move his water spout and a new raised flower bed he built off their property, also included is a print out of the statute that ChefJoe uncovered above and a copy of the survey.

If the neighbor doesn't move the stuff and/or moves the stakes my dad said he's going the legal route. No camera yet, (I think it's a good idea, but I'm not footing the bill for the entire camera as of yet).

filliy said:   Parents have a letter prepped for the neighbor telling him to move his water spout and a new raised flower bed he built off their property,
I think you failed to mention he built a flower bed on this side of the property?

I'd include a bill for the restaking. Not even mention it in the letter, just include it in the envelope.

What's the legal route? If there's no action from your request, I'd just take a sawzall (or whatever the appropriate tool given the materials) and cut everything right along the property line.

I've had a similar dispute over an easement, which is a little bit different. I was given some interesting legal advice:
One option is to just take down / remove what you don't like. This pushes the burden (cost) of legal action to the other party. Sure, they can call the PD, but you're well covered by documentation.

The flower bed is a new addition (that's what he ended up building with railroad ties after the initial survey and before the pins were moved). Originally the pins were only at the ends of the yard so "eyeing" it up it looked like he'd built right to the line, but maybe over an inch or two which my dad wasn't worried about until he started moving pins. With the 5 stakes down the hard it's obvious he's over about 6 inches.

Like somebody said, do one of these corner fences at the edge of his property...they look nice and wouldn't be hard.

Any updates? Is there peace in PA?

I too would like to know...

OP's mom ran off with the neighbor.

Bump

Any word?

Update:

So the neighbor started building a shed and my dad couldn't believe it and has been driving around in circles for 3 days now. He's been asking where one can rent a bull-dozer in the middle of the night but I'm not sure his doctor will approve of that.



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