Jun 1 2011
You are the happy new owner of a mining claim, which you have just purchased from someone else. The claim was located a long time ago. (let's say 30 yrs, for the sake of arguement)
The original locator is long gone. (let's say he's deceased)
You go in with your handy-dandy GPS to check out your new claim, but to your dismay you find the claim corners are off by about 500'. (This is actually a fairly common scenario, when claims were located back in the good 'ol days before GPS...guys would use the "guess and by-golly method". IE: "this spot looks about right...")
So the claim corners are off, you know that for sure.
1. File a location amendment, to reflect the correct actual location in the claim paperwork file? Oh...wait a second Hoss....you're not the original locator...how can you legally file an amendment? Get the original locator to do it! Oh wait...he's dead. Even if he was alive, he no longer owns the claim. Besides...what if filing an amendment to reflect where the corners actually are creates a claim that is 1209' long X 519" wide, and not only that, but one end of the claim is wider than the other, and one side is longer than the other: a weird "trapezoid" shape.
2. Quietly move your claim corners to agree with the filed location paperwork? As long as they do not encroach on surrounding claims? Doing that might work, and then again...might create new problems...
3. Just accept the whole boon-doggle...it is what it is...nuthin you can do about it...:confused:
Jun 1 2011
I'm not real sure, but in most cases of survey law, the actual monuments that were originally placed become the true markers of the claim. Back then, technology wasn't all that good and usually when a dispute arose, the monuments were what was used to determine the ownership.
If all four, or how ever many were used,of the mounments are locatable, then you know the actual location that the original miner intended to call his claim when he filed for the original claim.
Now that you have gps, you can be more acurate in fixing the actual boundries of the claim.
As I see it, you are not changing the location of the claim, only recording it with more accuracy.
So, ask the County Recorder in the county that has juristiction over the claim and see what they have to say.
Most likely they will allow the new information to be added to the record of the claim, because it will make the boundries more accurate, and reduce the chance of a claim dispute.
If that fails, then you need to ask a licensed surveyor for an opinion. His certification should stand the test of the law.
Hope this helps and you get the problem straightened out.
Jun 2 2011
If you want to move the corners, file an amended location notice.
You cannot make it larger through an amendment.
My opinion......Professional Land Surveyor for 30 years.
Jun 2 2011
What I mean by "moving the corners" is moving one or more of the corner posts physically, to agree exactly with where the location paperwork says they are at, not to make the claim "bigger" than what the law allows (which would not be allowed) or to move them to a different location than what the paperwork says. Filing an amendment to say the corners are now exactly where the first location paperwork says they are would make no sense...the two papers would both say they were at the same places, so what would be the purpose of the amendment?
My feeling on the matter is they probably can't be moved, like it or not, with probably only one exception.(*)
The fact of the matter is that where the original locator put them is where he/she wanted the claim corners to be, even if they reported their actual locations wrong on the paperwork. I think traditional mining law defers to the actual corner-post location as being the legal corner for a mining claim, and not necessarily where the paperwork says they are at. (but I could be wrong)
(*) Exception: in the event the original locator was "overly optimistic" on staking his claim, and put the corner posts too far apart, then maybe one or two of the corners would have to be moved to bring the claim into compliance with federal or state law regarding mining claim size. Example: a guy screws up and makes his claim 1610' long, instead of 1320', or 755' wide instead of 660' wide. Needless to say, you can't have a claim bigger on the ground than what the law says you are allowed to have, even if the paperwork reports it as being only "660 X 1320". Does that happen? Heck yeah it happens! It also happens (less often) the other way around: they report a normal-sized 660' X 1320' claim, but it is actually smaller than that on the ground, if you go to measure it with a GPS.
My rational on this "exception" is because no law is broken if you stake an under-sized claim (a fraction claim), but a law IS broken if you stake one that is over-sized.
Jun 2 2011
In surveying practice, I could not move a corner set by someone else if it were set in the wrong position. (The original surveyor could though)
Think of the Public Land Surveys as an example....Sections were meant to be a mile square(or somewhat close to that)
In the mountainous areas, they are quite often off by degrees and hundreds of feet.
The survey notes say the line is a mile long but it's not.
The corners as originally set always hold unless the government surveyors(the original surveyors) decide to invalidate the original survey and correct it.
I would have no problem filing an amended loaction with the same description.
I would simply note on the location notice that "this claim is being amended because the corners as originally located conflicted with the description. Corners are being relocated to the location as described in the description"
This puts the public on notice that YOU have moved the corners.
Of course, if you have adjoining claims filed by others, you may or may not be able to do this. Sort of depends on if they used your original corners as their boundaries or not.
Jun 2 2011
Lost boundries have caused many a legal fight, then when the court rules, that ruling usually stands.
When a stone, post, carin, monument or any such object is placed, that usually signifies the intent of the person to locate a boundry. The writing of the legal description, is to let others know the intent of the person setting the boundry.
LipCa do you agree?
What I'm trying to say is that the point on the ground holds a higher legal value that the legal description.
Jun 3 2011
Jun 3 2011
Hope this helps MarshallAk out.
Jun 3 2011