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Land Boundary Law

Land Boundary Master Class - Self Study

by Jeff Lucas • Last updated 11/2021

4.7/5 (view ratings)
140 students
7 modules
21:34 hours
90 assignments

Course description

If you are a seasoned professional or a land surveyor in training, or somewhere in between, you need to take this course because it is the most comprehensive land boundary course available online.

POB Magazine and Jeff Lucas developed this course for professionals looking to go beyond traditional conferences and seminars. For the readers of POB Magazine and those who have attended Jeff’s live seminars, you know that no one has more passion for the land surveying profession and the surveyor’s primary responsibility—property boundaries.

Learning Objective #1
Describe the differences between being a “professional” and a mere “technician”, including the importance of knowing the laws that affect the practice of land surveying, including but not limited to, property boundary law, relevant administrative law, contracts, torts, remedies and imitations on liability.

Learning Objective #2
Identify technical standards and standards of practice really required of the professional land surveyor.

Learning Objective #3
Recognize known pit-falls and advantages of providing expert witness testimony, including what will be required and what is not required of the land surveyor.

Learning Objective #4
Identify key components of professional services contracts and the differences between these types of contracts and non-professional services contracts, including liability that can arise under contract and ways to limit liability under contract.

Learning Objective #5
Summarize the key risks of tort liability, including the various torts that the land surveyor can commit during the course of providing professional services.

Learning Objective #6
Explain the limitations on liability, applicable statutes of limitation, the “discovery rule” and its application to statutes of limitations, and the difference between “statutory repose” and the “rule of repose.”

Learning Objective #7
Describe the difference between the law and equity, and the importance this difference makes with regard to their professional practice.

Learning Objective #8
Recognize key recording statutes and the meaning of real property title.

Learning Objective #9
Recite the elements of deeds and how real property is conveyed and when it’s not, and the consequences relative to the professional surveyors practice.

Learning Objective #10
Summarize the association, consequences and relationship between the conveyance of real property, simultaneously created properties, junior-senior conveyances, and occupational rights.

Learning Objective #11
Recognize the difference between title to property (the legal question) and the location of that property on the ground (the fact question).

Learning Objective #12
Describe adverse possession and the role it plays with regard to the two-part question, and the affect adverse possession has on the land surveyor’s professional practice.

Learning Objective #13
Recite the six primary boundary establishment doctrines, how they apply, when they apply, and how to apply them in practice. The six primary boundary establishment doctrines being: The Common Grantor Doctrine; The Doctrine of Monuments; Boundary by Acquiescence; Boundary by Oral Agreement; Boundary by Practical Location; and Boundary by Estoppel.

Learning Objective #14
Describe how and why monuments play such a significant role in the establishment of property boundaries, including when monuments do not play a role in the establishment of property boundaries.

Learning Objective #15
Summarize little known and little discussed requirements for surveying within the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).

Learning Objective #16
Assess the original intent of the original developer (the federal government) under the PLSS, and the consequences this has on the original surveys under the system and subsequent resurveys conducted by the modern-day practitioner.

Learning Objective #17
Conduct resurvey in the PLSS, with an understanding of the evidence standards and the affect they have on retracement surveys, and what “best available evidence” means and how to recognize it.

Learning Objective #18
Compare and contrast lost, obliterated and existent corners under the PLSS, including how the further subdivision of the sections took place and the significance this has on modern-day practice.

Learning Objective #19
Describe evidence and procedures relative to boundary retracement surveys, including how to gather evidence, how to weigh evidence, and then how to render a well-reasoned opinion on the only questions open to the land surveyor—the location question.

Learning Objective #20
Recite proper procedure for the execution of surveys in the “lot and block” and “metes and bounds,” context, including pit-falls associated with preparing and performing an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey under the 2011 revised standards.

Learning Objective #21
Apply knowledge gained in the course to six fresh court cases. Take and pass a final examination consisting of 20 hypothetical questions based on the scenarios taken for the final six case studies.

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Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

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Continuing Education Units

Approved for: 35 Continuing Education Credits for Florida Surveyors and Mappers, 16 Texas Board of Land Surveying Credit Hours, 35 Professional Development Contact Hours.

Full course outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Learning Objectives and Course Description (.pdf)
  • test (.pdf)
Module 1 - Boundary Surveyor's Duties & Responsibilities

Introduction, Professionalism, Knowing the Law, Boards of Administration, Technical Standards/Standards of Practice, Expert Witness Testimony, The Land Surveyor’s Sacred Trust

  • Week 1 - Welcome (15:46 minutes) Preview
  • Week 1 - Lesson 1 - Introduction (01:07:52 hours)
  • Week 1 - Lesson 2 - Professionalism (59:06 minutes)
  • Week 1 - Lesson 3 - Expert Witness (44:27 minutes)
  • Handout: Week 1 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 1 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 1 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 1 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 1 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 1 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 1 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 1 Test (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 1 Test
Module 2 - Liability & Limitations on Liability

Contract Issues, Professional Negligence, Torts, Standard of Care, Statutes of Limitation, Discovery Rule, Repose

  • Week 2 - Lesson 1 - Contracts (01:03:48 hours)
  • Week 2 - Lesson 2 - Liability (01:04:54 hours)
  • Week 2 - Lesson 3 - Limitations (01:02:15 hours)
  • Handout: Week 2 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 2 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 2 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 2 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 2 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 2 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 2 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 2 Test (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 2 Test
Module 3 - Property Rights and Title to Property

Courts of Law and Equity, Statute of Frauds, Recording Statutes, Real Property Title, Deeds and Conveyances, Simultaneously Created Properties, Junior and Senior Rights, Occupational Rights

  • Week 3 - Lesson 1 - Law and Equity (01:04:14 hours)
  • Week 3 - Lesson 2 - Deeds and Conveyances (01:07:39 hours)
  • Week 3 - Lesson 3 - Junior and Senior Rights (01:10:12 hours)
  • Handout: Week 3 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 3 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 3 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 3 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 3 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 3 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 3 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 3 Test (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 3 Test
Module 4 - The Boundary Establishment Doctrines

A Question of Law and Fact, Adverse Possession, The Common Grantor Doctrine, The Doctrine of Monuments, Boundary by Acquiescence, Boundary by Oral Agreement, Boundary by Practical Location, Boundary by Estoppel, Monuments and Corners

  • Week 4 - Lesson 1 - Law and Fact (01:01:40 hours)
  • Week 4 - Lesson 2 - Acquiescence (01:02:03 hours)
  • Week 4 - Lesson 3 - Monuments and Corners (01:12:53 hours)
  • Handout: Week 4 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 4 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 4 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 4 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 4 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 4 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 4 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 4 Test (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 4 Test
Module 5 - The Public Land Survey System

Intent of the Original Grantor, Original Surveys Generally, Good Faith and Bona Fide Rights, Retracement Surveys, Evidence Standards, Best Available Evidence, Lost and Obliterated Corners, The Further Subdivision of the Sections

  • Week 5 - Lesson 1 - Original Intent (01:11:26 hours)
  • Week 5 - Lesson 2 - Retracement (01:05:59 hours)
  • Week 5 - Lesson 3 - Evidence (01:05:27 hours)
  • Handout: Week 5 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 5 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 5 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 5 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 5 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 5 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 5 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 5 Test (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 5 Test
Module 6 - Other Survey Systems

Evidence and Procedures, Lot and Block Surveys, Metes and Bounds Surveys, Apportionment – Prorated and Proportionate Measurements, Right of Way Issues, ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys

  • Week 6 - Lesson 1 - Procedures (01:06:59 hours)
  • Week 6 - Lesson 2 - Apportionment (01:14:23 hours)
  • Week 6 - Lesson 3 - ALTA Surveys (54:36 minutes)
  • Handout: Week 6 - Lesson 1 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 6 - Lesson 2 (.pdf)
  • Handout: Week 6 - Lesson 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 6 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 6 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 6 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 6 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 6 - Case 5 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Week 6 Test (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Test: Take the Week 6 Test
Module 7 - Case Studies + 40-Question Exam

Students will watch a two-hour video and will have six cases to study. The video is an introduction to the cases that the students will need to study. After studying the cases the students will then take a 40-question final examination. The final examination will consist of 20 hypothetical questions derived from the case material. Each question will be in two parts. The first part will be either a true-false or multiple choice question. The second part will require the student to choose the correct citation that justifies the answer given in the first part of the question.

  • Week 7 Case Study Review (01:59:00 hours)
  • Handout: Week 7 Case Study Review (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 1 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 2 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 3 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 4 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 5 (.pdf)
  • Case Study: Week 7 - Case 6 (.pdf)
  • Reference: Final Exam (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Final Exam: Take the Final Exam
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate


Jeff Lucas

Lucas & Company LLC

Jeffery N. Lucas is in private practice in Birmingham, Alabama. Lucas has been in the surveying business since 1976. He is a licensed land surveyor registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Lucas is a licensed attorney and member of the Alabama State Bar since 2003. Lucas specializes in land boundary issues as an attorney, land surveyor,...Learn more


32 reviews

140 students have taken this course

by Jerry Burns, Manager, 21st Century Surveying, LLC 12/18/2019

A must for all surveyors wanting to improve their knowledge of boundary law as it applies to our profession. It should be a requirement for new surveyors to gain a solid foundation in boundary law, before they place their first pin in the ground. This course is a historical, in depth, look at the nations boundary laws and how they are relative to todays modern surveyor. This course adds a whole new meaning to, "Following in the footsteps". We as professional surveyors need to follow in the footsteps on the ground and also in the footsteps in applying boundary law to our daily tasks and responsibilities.

by Augusta Kickbusch, Marquardt Surveying 04/14/2019

EXCELLENT course with applicable and priceless information that will broaden your problem solving and overall thinking when it comes to boundary surveying!!!

by James H 12/01/2016

by Gregory N 11/04/2016

by Jeffrey Nading, Professional Land Surveyor I, Colorado Dept of Transportation 11/01/2016

After taking this course, I have a much better foundation for rendering opinions on boundary issues. I wish every Licensed Surveyor could take this course.

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 7 module course is delivered entirely online. This is a self-study, self-paced course and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.

How long do I have access to the materials?

Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.

Can I register multiple people?

Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Groups page to get a group discount.

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