California Code of Civil Procedure 873.070 is the California partition statute that gives the partition referee or any party the authority to ask the court for referee duty instructions in a partition action:
The referee or any party may, on noticed motion, petition the court for instructions concerning the referee’s duties under this title.California Code of Civil Procedure 873.070
The Law Revision Comment states that this statute: “…is intended to enable the referee and parties expeditiously to resolve any administrative problems that arise in the execution of the referee’s duties.” California Code of Civil Procedure 873.070, 1976 Law Revision Comment
In other words, this statute was enacted to allow any and all parties to clarify what a referee’s duties are in a partition action.
This statute dovetails with California Code of Civil Procedure 873.010(b)(2) providing that: “The court may… Instruct the referee.” In turn: “The referee may perform any acts necessary to exercise the authority conferred by this title or by order of the court.” California Code of Civil Procedure 873.060.
The referee or any party may request instructions, the court may provide instructions, and the referee may perform any acts necessary to exercise the authority of the order of the court providing instructions. It is wise to request those instructions in advance when asking for the appointment of the partition referee.
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