Radio San Juanv.Baker

Colorado Court of Appeals. Division IIJul 5, 1972
31 Colo. App. 151 (Colo. App. 1972)

Cases citing this document

How cited

1 Citing case

No. 72-065

Decided July 5, 1972.

Actions to determine interests of triangular tract of land created as result of government resurvey which altered certain township boundaries. From finding that plaintiff was owner of the land, defendants appealed.

Affirmed

1. DEEDSResurvey — Modify — Township Lines — Not Affect — Boundary — Lands Conveyed — Earlier Survey. Where defendants conveyed certain lands to plaintiff based on township lines as fixed by 1880 survey and defendants' adjacent landowners conveyed that adjacent land to plaintiff also on basis of 1880 survey, a 1957 government resurvey that modified the township boundary lines did not affect the boundary of the lands conveyed, and disputed tract of land created by the modification of the township lines had, in fact, been owned by the adjacent landowners and was included in their conveyance to plaintiff.

Appeal from the District Court of La Plata County, Honorable William S. Eakes, Judge.

McDaniel Lanza, for plaintiff-appellee.

Irvin L. Mason, for defendants-appellants.


This is an action under C.R.C.P. 105 to determine interests in a triangular tract of land in La Plata county. Plaintiff-appellee Radio San Juan, Inc. (KIUP) alleged, inter alia, that it was the owner of the disputed tract, that defendants-appellants David and Mary Ellen Baker (Bakers) claimed an interest adverse to that KIUP and it requested a complete adjudication of the respective rights of the parties. The Bakers appeal from the trial court's judgment that KIUP was the owner of the disputed tract. We affirm.

In 1880, the federal government conducted a survey in La Plata County which was utilized that year in drawing township plats and which established the north boundary line of SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec. 4 T34N R9W NMPM along which survey line the disputed property lies. KIUP acquired two adjoining tracts of land. One tract was purchased from the Bakers in 1950 and the second tract was purchased from a Mr. and Mrs. Huston in 1970. The Bakers and Hustons acquired their respective properties by legal descriptions based on the 1880 survey.

In 1957, a government resurvey established a north boundary line of SW1/4 SW1/4 of said Sec. 4 which varied from the boundary line which had been established by the 1880 survey. The difference between the line established in the 1880 survey and the 1957 survey creates the disputed triangular tract of land which lies north of the 1880 survey line and north of the common border of the properties originally owned by the Bakers and Hustons.

The Bakers apparently became aware of a potential claim to the triangular tract in 1964 when a water district was obtaining a right of way for its water lines.

Before trial, the parties stipulated that, insofar as pertinent, the north boundary of the property which was conveyed by the Bakers to KIUP was coincidental with the south boundary of the property conveyed by the Hustons to KIUP. However, the Bakers claim that they are still the owners of the disputed land on the basis that the 1957 survey fixed the true north boundary of their land and that the disputed tract was not included in their conveyance to KIUP. The Baker conveyance was by a metes and bounds description not tied to the disputed quarter section line, though it did in fact coincide with that line. Bakers further contend that the disputed tract could not have been included in the land conveyed to KIUP by the Hustons because the Hustons never owned the property south of the 1957 survey line. We find no merit in this argument.

[1] Where a conveyance is made with reference to an official map or plat, the map or plat becomes a part of the grant. Twin Lakes Reservoir Canal Co. v. Bond, 157 Colo. 10, 401 P.2d 586; Smith v. Town of Fowler, 138 Colo. 359, 333 P.2d 1034. The change in the township boundary lines as a result of the resurvey in 1957 did not affect the boundary of the lands conveyed on the basis of the 1880 survey. Neither the original deed to the Bakers nor the deed from the Bakers to KIUP conveyed the property in question. The disputed property, as found by the trial court, was in fact owned by Hustons and included in their conveyance to KIUP.

Judgment affirmed.

JUDGE COYTE and JUDGE PIERCE concur.