Using A Land Surveyor As An Expert Witness

By Charles Iner

Are you concerned about your property boundaries? Do you feel that the boundary in use is actually in the wrong position? If you feel that a neighbor may be infringing on your property, your first step is to have a land survey conducted. Land surveyors often play a significant role in the resolving of land disputes. The surveyor can determine the exact property boundary, allowing you to tell whether your neighbor has built onto your land, or exactly where that fence is in relation to the official property line.

Depending on the results of the land survey, the dispute may not even proceed further into the court system, saving you both time and money. Ideally, this independent third-party report will be enough for the dispute to come to an amicable conclusion. The land surveyor may even act as a sort of mediator to create a compromise solution. In many cases, land owners simply misinterpret the information on the title, leading to confusion. In the best-case scenario, a surveyor is called out before fences, buildings, or other improvements are constructed, staving off future land disputes by determining the correct boundaries early enough to prevent problems.


A land surveyor may also serve as an expert witness in court. This is particularly common in boundary disputes between neighboring landowners. When a surveyor is acting as an expert witness, the surveyor conducts an accurate site survey, producing a plan suitable for inclusion in an expert report which may be submitted to the court. This large scale plan will depict any relevant boundary lines as well as other features like buildings and driveways to show the exact lay of the land. Besides looking at the present-day boundary lines, a land surveyor can also look at deeds, historical aerial photographs, maps, and other descriptions of the land to determine the original boundary position or its intended position.

An expert witness, such as a land surveyor, has special knowledge and experience in the subject, allowing them to testify in court about the subject at hand even though the witness is not a party to the court proceedings. The function of an expert witness is to express an expert opinion based on the information provided. In court proceedings, a land surveyor acting as an expert witness gives their opinion on the facts of the case as it relates to a land survey that the surveyor has conducted on the land that is being disputed.

When asking a land surveyor to act as an expert witness, inform the surveyor about all relevant details of the dispute, including the particular property corners or lines that are disputed. This allows the surveyor to focus attention on the areas that will prove useful in expert testimony. When hiring a land surveyor as an expert witness, it is important to remember that the surveyor will testify according to the facts and the expert’s opinion, not in order to sway the proceedings in the favor of the person paying the expert’s fees. Expert witnesses, whether they are land surveyors or in any other profession, must be independent and objective.

About the Author: We at Point to Point Land Surveyors pride ourselves on accuracy, customer service and quality work delivered on time, guaranteed. Telecommunication land surveys are a specialty.


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