Articles Posted in Real Estate Law


In many ways, partition actions are relatively straightforward. Generally, in a partition action, the two property owners cannot agree on its use, and one of the owners asks the court to sell the property so each can go their separate ways.

The question arises of whether one of the two persons actually owns the property in the first instance. When there is a question of whether one of the parties is an owner, can you contest title in a partition action? The answer is “yes,” as one of the primary purposes of a partition action is a determination of title.

Generally, at trial, the court must determine whether the plaintiff has the right to partition. (CCP § 872.210(a).) A question of ownership of property, as presented in a partition action, may be one of fact or law, depending on whether the determination of the issue involves a decision on conflicting facts or the application of the law to a stated set of facts. (Lieb v. Superior Court (1962) 199 Cal.App.2d 364.)

When two parties jointly own property but cannot agree on its use then the sale of the property by a “partition” action is frequently a great remedy to solve the dispute. This tool, however, is not available in all circumstances. While a “partition by sale” makes a lot of sense with regards to a single-family home, it may not make as much sense when the land at issue is vacant undeveloped land. In that instance, a partition by division—the simple division of the property—may be the best outcome for all the parties. A partition by division, however, raises the question of how to account for unequal contributions to the property.

Amounts Paid For Partition Action

Code of Civil Procedure section 873.250 provides that where a division of property cannot be made equally among the parties according to their interests, without prejudice to any party, then compensation may be required to be made by one party to another to correct the inequality. This is commonly called “owelty.”

The purpose of this post is to discuss who should be part of a partition action. This post will discuss who is typically joined, note some interesting problems, and address how to properly prosecute such an action. After reviewing this article, the reader will be better able to identify who should be named as a party in a partition action.

Partition Action

Generally, as a partition action will cause the sale of the property or otherwise affect title, it is important to name all persons who have any sort of “interest” in the property. This inquiry generally begins by examining who is listed on title.

The purpose of this post is to discuss how a partial taking of your property may affect your property taxes.

Often, in an eminent domain action, there are at least two types of damages or payment required. First, the government should pay the property owner for the property actually taken.

Second, when the government takes anything less than the entire parcel, the government should also pay the property owner for any damages caused to the property left-over.

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