California Code of Civil Procedure 874.210 is the California partition statute explaining the binding legal effect of a partition judgment as follows:
The judgment in the action is binding and conclusive on all of the following:
(a) All persons known and unknown who were parties to the action and who have or claim any interest in the property, whether present or future, vested or contingent, legal or beneficial, several or undivided.
(b) All persons not in being or not ascertainable at the time the judgment is entered who have any remainder interest in the property, or any part thereof, after the determination of a particular estate therein and who by any contingency may be entitled to a beneficial interest in the property, provided the judge shall make appropriate provision for the protection of such interests.
(c) Except as provided in Section 874.225, all persons who were not parties to the action and who have or claim any interest in the property which was not of record at the time the lis pendens was filed, or if none was filed, at the time the judgment was recorded.California Code of Civil Procedure 874.210
The effect of this statute is to ensure the certainty of partition judgments. “Subdivision (a) makes clear that all parties to the action are bound by the judgment, including the heirs of a decedent joined pursuant to Section 872.530 and unknown persons joined pursuant to Section 872.550.” Law Revision Commission Comment to Code of Civil Procedure § 874.210.
Witkin explains that the judgment binds the following persons:
(a) Parties to the action who have or claim an interest in the property. (C.C.P. 874.210(a).) This includes such parties as “persons unknown” (C.C.P. 872.550) and heirs of decedents (C.C.P. 872.530). (See Legislative Com. Comment on C.C.P. 874.210.) But it appears not to include persons who, although named as parties, were not served and have not appeared. (Law Rev. Com. Comment on C.C.P. 873.600.)
(b) Owners of remainder or contingent interests who are not in being or cannot be ascertained. The judge must provide for the protection of these interests. (C.C.P. 874.210(b).)
(c) Subject to the limited exception of C.C.P. 874.225, nonparties claiming interests that were not recorded when the lis pendens was filed or, if none was filed, at the time the judgment was recorded. (C.C.P. 874.210(c).)Judgment, 12 Witkin, Summary 11th Real Prop (2022) § 83
As a practical matter, this means that title companies can issue title insurance policies based on partition judgments with little risk that they will hear back later about a party with a claim to an interest in the property.
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