At its core, a partition action is a civil lawsuit initiated by owners of real property desiring to sell against those who resist selling. For this reason, a partition action is the best remedy for co-owners who are facing an uncooperative co-owner.
According to California law, any co-owner can be compelled to sell a jointly owned property. The absolute right to partition is set forth in California law as follows: “Ordinarily, if the party seeking partition is shown to be a tenant in common, and as such entitled to the possession of the land sought to be partitioned, the right to partition is absolute, and cannot be denied, ‘either because of any supposed difficulty, nor on the suggestion that the interest of the cotenants will be promoted by refusing the application or temporarily postponing action….’” Priddel v. Shankie (1945) 69 Cal.App. 2d 319, 325.
The court’s analysis of whether the plaintiff is entitled to a judgment of partition is simple as the court simply reaches a “determination of the parties’ [ownership] interests and order partition.” Summers v. Superior Court (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 138, 142, as modified (June 27, 2018). These factors are easily met in virtually all cases, meaning there is almost never a trial in a partition action. Rather, a skilled partition attorney will see that the matter is decided on motions filed with the court.
Usually, the only way for a defendant to stop a partition action is to reach an out-of-court settlement to buy the plaintiff’s interest in the property. If this does not occur, the court will supervise the forced sale of the property, followed by an equitable distribution of proceeds among the co-owners.
While it may seem unjust to the party desiring to retain the property, it is also unjust to impose property ownership upon someone who is unwilling.
Talkov Law's Partition Attorneys Can Help
If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. With six, full time partition lawyers, Talkov Law is the #1 partition law firm in California and has handled 250 partition actions throughout California. Every case has resulted in a sale to either a third party or one of the co-owners. Not a single court has denied our clients the right to partition or declared our client to be a non-owner. Plus, for qualified cases, there is no fee until we settle or win your case!