Contract Boundary Line Law and Legal Definition

Adjoining landowners can find themselves in disputes over fences, overhanging branches, water rights, subjacent and lateral support and party walls. A boundary is every separation, natural or artificial (man-made), which marks the confines or line of division of two contiguous estates. A river or other stream is a natural boundary, and in that case the center of the stream is the line.

Boundaries are frequently marked by partition fences, ditches, hedges, trees, etc. When such a fence is built by one of the owners of the land, on his own premises, it belongs to him exclusively; when built by both at joint expense, each is the owner of that part on his own land. When the boundary is a hedge and a single ditch, it is presumed to belong to the person on whose side the hedge is. But if there is a ditch on each side of the hedge, or no ditch at all, the hedge is presumed to be the common property of both proprietors. A tree growing in the boundary line is the joint property of both owners of the land.

Disputes arising from a confusion of boundaries may be generally settled by an action at law. But courts of equity will entertain a bill for the settlement of boundaries when the rights of one of the parties may be established upon equitable grounds.