Can I remove boundary markers and survey stakes?
Removing boundary markers can be prosecuted as a criminal offense under Chapter 266, Section 94 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Therefore, you must be very sure that the stakes are entirely on your property. If you are having a dispute with an abutter as to where a property line is located, both parties should have the boundary line or lines surveyed and have the survey companies work out any discrepancies. If this cannot be accomplished, then you will need to go Land Court to determine the boundary line. Since that working out process includes having the survey companies view the stakes, removal of them will not be helpful. If the stakes are used to show a boundary line, but you want them removed because you find them visually offensive, you will have to file a civil suit to have them removed.
If the stakes are your own stakes for measuring out where, for instance, a septic system will be located, you are within your rights to remove them. However, if you or anyone working with you will need the stakes to find this location, it would be inadvisable to remove them.
Chapter 266, Section 120C of the General Laws allows surveyors who are surveying an abutting property the right to, after reasonable notice, enter upon the land within a reasonable distance from the property line of the land being surveyed, and such entry shall not be deemed a trespass.