Steps in a Partition Action in California
The first step in the partition action process is to file a complaint for partition of real property in the county in which the property is located. A lis pendens, also known as a notice of pendency of action, will then be recorded against the property. The lis pendens will remain on the property until the partition has been resolved or the complaint is withdrawn.
The partition action will then come before the court where a judge will make a determination of the partition request. Assuming the request is upheld, the court will appoint a partition referee to oversee the sale or division of the property and distribute proceeds equitably. The court may also decide to hold the proceeds of sale until an accounting to determine offsets, costs, and fees has been performed.
Steps to End a Co-Ownership Dispute
In a partition action, a co-owner of a property is taking legal action to fairly divide the property among all co-owners of the property. Many co-owners of California real estate want to know what happens in a partition action. This topic is complex, as partitions can head different ways, but share many commonalities.
This type of lawsuit usually ends in one of two ways: either the court orders a forced sale of the jointly owned property and then the sale proceeds are divided equally among each owner, known as partition by sale, or the court divides the property into pieces and gives each owner an undivided interest in their own separate piece, known as partition in kind. In some rare instances, the court may also award ownership to one person and order them to buy out the others. If this is agreed between the parties, this manner of partition is known as partition by appraisal. Under all of these scenarios, a partition referee would be appointed.
Under the new, fourth option, a party to the partition can use the new Partition of Real Property Act appraised buyout process.
Additionally, even after a lawsuit is filed, the co-owners can agree to sell the property either to each other or to a third party without court intervention and reach a settlement. This settlement agreement should be drafted by the counsel to ensure it is legally binding.
The terms related to a partition action as well as the partition process can be complex and time consuming. Therefore, many people who are seeking a partition action or have been served with one will often retain a real estate partition action attorney to help them navigate the legal process.
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!