Which Courthouse Should a Partition Action be Filed?
Determining venue is one of the most basic requirements in a lawsuit. Venue establishes the county court in which the dispute will be heard. In a partition action, proper venue is generally the county in which at least one parcel of co-owned real property is located.
Specifically, within the partition statutes, Code of Civil Procedure 872.110(b)(1) describes the venue for a partition action involving real property as follows: “[T]he proper county for the trial of actions under this title is… Where the subject of the action is real property or real and personal property, the county in which the real property, or some part thereof, is situated.” This venue is “Subject to the power of the court to transfer actions.” Id.
Furthermore, outside the partition statutes, Code of Civil Procedure 392(a)(1) doubles down on this conclusion as to the venue in a partition action as follows:
(a) Subject to the power of the court to transfer actions and proceedings as provided in this title, the superior court in the county where the real property that is the subject of the action, or some part thereof, is situated, is the proper court for the trial of the following actions:
(1) For the recovery of real property, or of an estate or interest therein, or for the determination in any form, of that right or interest, and for injuries to real property.Code of Civil Procedure 392(a)(1)
The conclusion is clear: the location of the defendants and plaintiffs do not govern where a partition action is filed. Instead, a partition action should be filed where the real property is located.
Filing a partition action for multiple properties in the same county
The law is clear that a plaintiff may file a partition action related to more than one parcel of co-owned real estate. As one court explained: “It is thoroughly established that partition may be had in one action of two or more tracts or parcels of land…” Middlecoff v. Cronise (1909) 155 Cal. 185, 188.
One of the leading treatises on California law states that: “Partition of two or more parcels of land may be had in one action. This is generally true even where the parcels are in different counties so long as each parcel is owned by the same persons. The relative interests of the parties do not even have to be the same in each of the parcels. However, if the cotenancy among all the cotenants exists only as to one tract and only some of the tenants are interested in other tracts, partition may not be had in one action though some of the cotenants may have an interest in all the tracts.” 48 Cal. Jur. 3d Partition § 19.
In other words, when there are multiple properties to be partitioned, they may be included together in one partition action.
Furthermore: “It is immaterial whether the property is in one parcel extending to different counties or in several parcels situated in different counties as long as the tenants in common derive their title from the same source. The term ‘real property,’ for the purpose of this rule, is broad enough to include several distinct parcels as well as one entire tract.” 48 Cal. Jur. 3d Partition § 18.
As to where to file a partition action involving properties in multiple counties,
In which county should the partition be filed where there are multiple properties in different counties?
Code of Civil Procedure 872.110(b)(1) describes the venue for a partition action involving real property as follows: “[T]he proper county for the trial of actions under this title is… Where the subject of the action is real property or real and personal property, the county in which the real property, or some part thereof, is situated.” Code of Civil Procedure 392(a)(1) draws the same conclusion.
As one court explained: “C.C.P. 392(a) refers to the county in which the real property ‘or some part thereof’ is situated. Hence, when the subject matter of the action involves either one parcel located in more than one county or two parcels located in more than one county, either county is a proper venue.” Land in More Than One County., 3 Witkin, Cal. Proc. 6th Actions (2023) § 856.
One court found that: “the fact that such tracts are situated in different counties cannot affect this right [to partition]; the action being maintainable in such a case in any county in which a part of the property is situated.” Middlecoff v. Cronise (1909) 155 Cal. 185, 188.
As to which county may be most appropriate for a particular partition action, it is important to consult a skilled partition lawyer in California.
Contact an Experienced Partition Attorney in California
If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. Our knowledgeable partition lawyers have years of experience ending co-ownership disputes and can help you unlock the equity in your property. For a free, 15-minute consultation with an experienced partition attorney at Talkov Law, call (844) 4-TALKOV (825568), email us at info(at)talkovlaw.com, or fill out a contact form online. Contact Talkov Law today to find out how you can pay nothing today and have your legal fees paid from the proceeds of sale of your property!