Throughout the course of a partition action, there may come a time when the appointment of a receiver is requested by one of the co-owners. While some parties use the term receiver to mean a partition referee, this blog uses the term receiver in the broadest context as it used throughout the law. But what is a receiver in a partition action and what do they do?
What is a Receiver?
A partition receiver is an officer or representative of the court, appointed to take the charge and management of property which is the subject of litigation before it, for the purpose of its preservation and ultimate disposition according to the final judgment therein. Kreling v. Kreling (1897) 118 Cal. 421, 422.
Generally, a receiver is “(1) Is neutral; (2) Acts for the benefit of all who may have an interest in the receivership property; and (3) Holds assets for the court and not for the plaintiff or the defendant.” Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.1179; CCP § 564. Indeed, a partition receiver is prohibited from having a relationship with the the judge or the court. CCP § 873.050.
CCP section 564(a) provides that a court may appoint a receiver during the pendency of any proceeding in which a receiver is required.
Can a Receiver be Appointed in a Partition Action?
California cases affirm the court’s ability to appoint a receiver during the partition action. As explained in Chalta v. Biller (1931) 212 Cal. 745, 747: “The plaintiff, as the owner by purchase of the undivided interest of George Soulas, deceased, had an equal right with the defendants to the possession of said property, and had a right to have the same partitioned, and in the meantime, while his action for that purpose was pending, to have the property protected against waste and loss, through the appointment of a receiver.”
Another court found that: “The following applicable rules of law on the merits of the case are settled: A superior court has jurisdiction to appoint a receiver as an ancillary remedy in an action for partition of real property between tenants in common.” Lent v. H.C. Morris Co. (1938) 25 Cal.App.2d 305, 307.
Yet another court found that: “The superior court has jurisdiction to appoint a receiver as an ancillary remedy in an action for partition of real property among tenants in common and should do so when the circumstances require it.” Blodgett v. Haddock (1949) 95 Cal.App.2d 17, 18.
Given that the receiver is appointed to uphold its fiduciary duty to protect the interests of the co-owners of the subject property, it necessarily follows that a receiver has a duty to act as a prudent owner would with respect to her own property. See Vitug v. Griffin (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 488, 496.
It is Important to Request the Appointment of an Experienced Partition Receiver
Our partition attorneys are skilled at knowing which third party receivers will produce an efficient and effective result that preserves the rights of all parties. This is particularly important since, often times, the receiver will be appointed as the partition referee.
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!