- July 11, 2017
It’s often said that good fences make good neighbors and this case proved the maxim. Our clients purchased a home in a rural setting, seeking the peace and quiet they had promised themselves years ago. And they had it until a neighbor re-opened a boundary dispute with them that he had engaged on and off again with the prior owners of the land.
Soon our clients found themselves needing an attorney in a very technical fight with competing surveys, maps and deeds spanning decades and centuries – a fight that could prove difficult to win. A full interpretation of the placement and bounds of the subdivisions required an analysis of competing surveys and various deeds, including those of the original parent parcel, which dated back to 1869.
Neither party was willing to back down. Ultimately, the resolution of this dispute required a three-day trial before the Dutchess County Supreme Court, during which several historical documents and surveys from several different experts were examined and cross-examined. Prior to the beginning of trial, the neighbor’s attorney and the title insurance company which backed them up, proclaimed to the Judge that SRRD Law had no chance of winning this boundary dispute at trial. They were wrong.
To the neighbor’s and his title insurance company’s surprise, Darren Fairlie, the SDG Law attorney on the case, was able to prove to the Court that the surveys offered by SRRD Law were consistent with the footsteps of the original surveyor, and in accordance with the guiding principles of professional land surveying. He was able to persuade the Court that the neighbor’s expert survey was more of an attempt to create a “solution” to the boundary location that suited the neighbor’s desires, more than it was an attempt to follow the footsteps of the original surveyor. As a result, the Court rejected the boundary line argued by the neighbor, and endorsed the boundary line argued by Mr. Fairlie. The neighbor can never dispute the line again.
Rarely do complex litigated cases proceed to trial due to the time, cost and risk involved. Oftentimes, a settlement is reached before trial, sometimes long before trial. However, you cannot achieve a win at trial, or a favorable settlement before trial, if your attorney is not prepared to litigate the case through the finish line. If you find yourself in a case that goes to court, SDG Law has an experienced legal team that can deliver results. Click here to find out about our services and our team of attorneys. To find out about our litigation practice, click here.