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Pilgrim v. Kuipers

Montana Supreme Court
679 P.2d 787 (1984)


Facts

Pilgrim (plaintiff) sold part of his property to Brooks, a predecessor in interest of Kuipers (defendant), and retained the remaining portion for himself. The deed contained a metes-and-bounds description of the property. At the time of sale, a fox farm fence stood on the approximate border between the two properties. The fence was not, however, referenced in the deed. Kuipers removed part of the fence to build a garage located partially on Pilgrim’s land. Pilgrim brought suit to quiet title. The trial court ordered that a surveyor attempt to reconcile the description within the deed with the undisputed boundaries and monuments on the properties. The survey concluded that Highway 91 was a monument establishing the western boundary of Pilgrim’s property, and that a fence standing on the northern boundary of the land constituted a monument establishing the northern boundary. The Beaverhead River was identified as a third monument establishing the southern boundary of the land. The surveyor then used distances specified in the deed, specifically 602 feet along the northern boundary and 230 plus 253 feet along lines following the route of the Beaverhead River, to establish the location of the final eastern boundary. The court held that the completed survey constituted an accurate description of the land. Pilgrim appealed, contending that the fox farm fence was a monument that should have been used to establish the eastern boundary.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Morrison, J.)

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