California Code of Civil Procedure 872.520 is the California partition statute that adds to California Code of Civil Procedure 872.510 by further explaining the requirement of joining defendants or ownership interests that are unknown. This section provides as follows:
(a) If the name of a person described in Section 872.510 is not known to the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall so state in the complaint and shall name as parties all persons unknown in the manner provided in Section 872.550.
(b) If the ownership or the share or quantity of the interest of a person described in Section 872.510 is unknown, uncertain, or contingent, the plaintiff shall so state in the complaint. If the lack of knowledge, uncertainty, or contingency is caused by a transfer to an unborn or unascertained person or class member, or by a transfer in the form of a contingent remainder, vested remainder subject to defeasance, executory interest, or similar disposition, the plaintiff shall also state in the complaint, so far as is known to the plaintiff, the name, age, and legal disability (if any) of the person in being who would be entitled to ownership of the interest had the contingency upon which the right of such person depends occurred prior to the commencement of the action.
(c) The court shall upon its own motion or upon motion of any party make such orders for joinder of additional parties and for appointment of guardians ad litem pursuant to Sections 372, 373, and 373.5 as are necessary or proper.Code of Civil Procedure 872.520
This statute requires all unknown parties, in addition to known parties, to be joined in the complaint. The word “if” means that this provision is only required “if” there are unknown parties sought to be bound by the judgment.
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