When a land owner wants to know his property limits, three options are available: staking, friendly boundary determination (non formal boundary determination) or judiciary boundary determination (formal boundary determination).
Certificate of staking
The first possible option is a staking which involves all land surveying operations done by the land surveyor in order to mark on the ground, with the help of markers (iron), his opinion on the position of the limits of an existing or proposed property.
This operation is so-called unilateral, that is to say that your neighbours won’t necessarily be implicated in the procedure and that eventually they may contest the position of the markers installed in the framework of the operation. Even though the land surveyor performs his work according to the highest standards, there is no guarantee on the limits of property materialized on the ground.
Minutes of Boundary Determination
The second available option is the “friendly” boundary determination without formalities, which is an operation that consists of determining the dividing line between two adjacent lands and to identify said line with markers. The friendly boundary determination without formalities differs substantially from the staking operation since it allows you to guarantee the position of the limits of property on your land. This guarantee is possible because the land surveyor will have the neighbour(s) concerned sign a document. That is why we qualify the boundary determination operation as bilateral. It is through this signature that the limits will become permanent and irrevocable.
Judiciary Boundary Determination
Finally, the third available option is the judiciary boundary determination with formalities, which is a much more complex option that is normally appropriate when there is a significant uncertainty on the position of the limits of property or when there is a major dispute with one or more of your neighbours. If this is your situation, it is preferable to communicate with the land surveyor to obtain all the explanations relating to this procedure. A friendly boundary determination with formalities may also be called a "judicial boundary determination" when the courts must intervene as, for example, in the case where two neighbouring owners are in a dispute to such a point that they do not really agree on the choice of a land surveyor. In such a situation, the owners may apply to a judge of the Superior Court in order that he/she chooses a land surveyor for them. In this case, we will be talking inevitably of a judicial boundary determination.
Physical Appearance of the marker in the case of a Staking and a Boundary determination
It is important to know that the landmark planted in the ground at the corner of your land has the same appearance as that deriving from a staking or a boundary determination. In both cases, it is generally a metal rod surmounted by a plastic medallion (often red in color) on which the name of the land surveyor is registered. In summary, and this until there is a change in the regulations, what distinguishes a marker from a staking and a boundary determination, is the choice of the survey operation that justifies the presence of this landmark planted at the corner of your land, and not its physical appearance. The staking operation being much more frequent than that of a boundary determination operation, there is a good chance that you should use the expression "my surveying marker" when you talk about the objects planted in the corners of your land whose purpose is to mark the position of the limits of your property.
Do not hesitate to call the land surveyor and discuss with him the delimitation process that suits you best.