Doctrine of Practical Location Law and Legal Definition

Doctrine of Practical Location is a longstanding legal principle used to resolve dispute over land boundaries by fixing boundaries permanently by agreement. The doctrine says that the owners of contiguous land may permanently fix the boundary between the parcels where the actual boundary is uncertain by an agreement between the two owners or by acquiescence in the agreed line for a time exceeding the statute of limitations, or if the agreed boundary is identifiable on the ground.

For example, in Iowa if adjacent landowners treat a line as the boundary for 10 or more years, that line becomes the true boundary. Similarly Minnesota courts have also adopted the legal concept of “boundary by practical location,” but landowners must satisfy a more-lengthy time frame to establish the new boundary- 15 years or more.

Doctrine of practical location is also known as agreed-boundary doctrine.