Boundary determination is the survey operation used to establish in a permanent and irrevocable way a boundary between two separate properties.
Contrary to staking, which is a unilateral operation, boundary determination requires the involvement of immediate neighbours. It is often used in a situation of conflicting land ownership. Boundary determination can be done in an amiable way when owners agree on a common position of the boundary. If the parties involved cannot reach an agreement, it becomes a legal matter.
In such proceedings, the land surveyor acts as a court expert and public officer in order to investigate and designate witnesses to testify. As a court expert, his mandate is to recommend the boundary line he considers most appropriate based on his analysis and evidence submitted. When both parties accept the recommendations, the land surveyor will place bench-marks. He will also write a boundary determination report which will be signed by all parties involved including the land surveyor. This report will then be published at the Registry Office.
If refuted by one or both parties involved, the matter can be taken to Superior Court.
The boundary determination is governed by articles 977 and 978 of the Civil Code of Québec, and articles 787 to 794 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Québec.
Source: Publications du Québec website