Field Notes & Lawsuits

Field Notes & Lawsuits

Posted by Timothy Frost_7 on Mar 5, 2018 9:41 am

I am looking for any information on Land Surveying Lawsuits that show Field Notes as an issue/reason in decision by court.

I am trying to get information together for field crews on importance of good Field Notes.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Field Notes & Lawsuits

Posted by STEVEN WELLINGTON on Mar 9, 2018 10:29 am

I know Gragin v Powell is considered the standard and is probably the most quoted, but ​I would also be very interested in any other decisions re the importance and use of the field notes.

Re: Field Notes & Lawsuits

Posted by Norman Hiselman on Mar 10, 2018 5:33 pm

In the court cases I have appeared in as expert witness, the use of field notes was never addressed during testimoney. It seems the courts were only interested in the expertise of the surveyors and the evidence that appeared on the face of the survey. Now that doesn't mean I am not an advocate for field notes, quite the contrary. I still believe in their necessity and I require crews to keep them. They may not be as detailed as the ones I kept coming up, we now have data collectors where collected raw data can be printed and archived, but sometimes a simple sketch can go a long way. One never knows how long time can pass before a question, or law suit, can come up about that survey that was done years ago, field notes can be that one source that revives the memory.
SurveysIndy

Re: Field Notes & Lawsuits

Posted by Lisa Lowe_5 on Mar 12, 2018 8:28 am

Three cases are referenced in Evidence and Procedures for Boundary Location regarding the importance of field notes.  One of them, already mentioned, Cragin v. Powell. 

The other two are Haley v. Martin and United States v. Champion Papers.  I haven't been able to find Haley v. Martin online but I read through USA v. Champion Papers and would suggest you look it up.  Some good stuff in there to help you out in asserting the importance of field notes to your crew.

Re: Field Notes & Lawsuits

Posted by Mark on Jul 27, 2018 8:07 am

Just a side note here. Use single sheets of paper that can be stored with the one job they relate to. The problem with field books is that the opposing lawyer will subpoena the field notes, get the field book and go through the entire field book. One single erasure mark, and you've given them proof your guys make mistakes.