Articles Tagged with co-owner

Underwood-Blog-Images-3-1-300x300Yes, but only in specific circumstances. When thinking of lawsuits, most people associate them with individuals. John may sue Mary for battery, for example. But this isn’t always the case. A large part of the law is devoted to virtual representation because some people, like minors, simply cannot file suit. 

This is where guardians and conservators come into play. These are officers that can be appointed or approved by the court and whose sole responsibility is the management of a person or thing on their behalf. Commonly, we associate conservators with property and guardians with people, but the differences are, in actuality, quite minute. 

Partitions are lawsuits that seek to divide up the shared equity in a property. But what happens when one of the owners is a minor or so elderly that they cannot manage the property on their own? At Underwood Law Firm, we have the answers. Our attorneys are more than familiar with partitions and the complexities such lawsuits can entail, particularly when conservatorships or trusts are involved. With our attorneys at your side, you can be sure that we will best assist you in achieving your litigation objectives. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-300x300In most cases, no. Instead, the statute of limitations most frequently bars a partition action when a party’s rights to the property have lapsed due to an ouster. 

What is a Partition Action?

A partition action is an action brought by a co-owner of a piece of real property against another co-owner, seeking to divide the property according to the respective interests of the co-owners. Typically, a property is partitioned in one of two ways. A partition by sale, where the subject property is sold, and the proceeds of the sale are split according to the respective interests of the titleholders. A physical partition physically divides the subject property into separate parcels in accordance with the respective interests. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-5-300x300Ejectment is an action brought by a party seeking to recover a possessory interest or claim of title in a piece of real property. Typically, an ejectment action arises when a titleholder to a piece of property has been wrongfully excluded or withheld from the property. Therefore, ejectment applies only to those cases where an individual actually has possessory title to the subject property.

Ejectment is a possessory action used to recover possession of land or a piece of real property to a plaintiff in possession who has been wrongfully ousted from the property by the defendant. (Fuller v. Fuller (1917) 176 Cal. 637, 638, 169 P. 369].) In simpler terms, ejectment allows a party to retake possession of real property that the party was wrongfully removed from.

A claim of ejectment is a common issue in disputes over the real property where the parties are seeking to establish who holds title to or an interest in the subject property. Specifically, under Code of Civil Procedure section 3375, an individual who is entitled to specific real property may recover by a judgment for its possession or an order requiring a defendant to deliver possession of the property. (CCP § 3375.) At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with ejectment actions and the requirements needed to prevail on an ejectment claim. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-2-300x300A partition by appraisal is an alternative method of partition that occurs when the parties to a partition action agree to have the subject property partitioned by appraisal. With the Partition of Real Property Act taking effect in 2023, almost every partition action moving forward will involve a Partition by Appraisal. As such, the rules for a partition by appraisal will be important to know for everyone involved in such an action.

Once a partition by appraisal commences, the parties must then go through the appraisal process with an independent appraiser. An independent appraiser appraises the subject property, and the judgment of the appraiser determines the value that should be paid to buy out the interest of the selling co-owner. At the Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with partition actions and the requirements needed to pursue a partition by appraisal. 

What is a Partition Action?

Underwood-Blog-Images-4-300x300“Joint tenancy” is a phrase that most people associate with the co-ownership of a property. And indeed, this is correct. Joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership in California, second only to tenancies-in-common in terms of popularity. But just because the words “joint tenancy” are used in a deed or other property-related document does not mean one actually exists. 

For a joint tenancy to be “true” means its effects fully apply. At a minimum, ownership percentages between the owners need to be equal, and the right of survivorship has to be present between the parties. What’s more, is that if any of the statutory or legal requirements associated with its creation are missing, then the joint tenancy does not exist, and it cannot be “true.” 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are well-versed in co-tenancy and the various forms it can take, including joint tenancy. The rights and duties that follow each of these ownership schemes are unique, making them a key issue in real estate litigation. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-1-300x300In California, in many partition actions, the court may enter an interlocutory judgment of partition, whereby there is an entry of judgment for partition. As opposed to a final judgment, an interlocutory judgment is a temporary judgment that is issued during the litigation of a case rather than after trial.

In general, interlocutory judgments are judgments entered before a trial comes to an end. “An interlocutory judgment or order is a provisional determination of some or all issues in the cause.” (7 Witkin, Cal. Procedure, supra, Judgement, § 12, p. 548.) Witkin identifies three different types of interlocutory judgments that exist.

The motion for an interlocutory judgment is a common issue in partition actions. Specifically, under Code of Civil Procedure section 872.720, the court must enter an interlocutory judgment when the court finds that the Plaintiff in a partition action is entitled to a partition. At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with the interlocutory judgment and requirements needed to get an interlocutory judgment. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-3-300x300Even when a party finally secures a judgment of partition, the property itself must still be sold (or partitioned in another way). This raises a brand-new set of issues for litigants as they attempt to figure out the terms of sale, when the property should be sold, and, most importantly, the asking price.

But sometimes, one of the buyers is a party to the litigation itself. While the law allows for this, it would be counterintuitive to force that party to submit a bid for the full price of the house when they already have equity in it. The law’s solution to this is the full credit bid.

Full credit bids allow parties to “credit” their bid for the property with the value of their equity already in place. This reduces the amount of cash they actually need to bid for the property. That said, it isn’t always an option, and sometimes it can wind up being a disadvantage for the party attempting to utilize it.

Underwood-Blog-Images-300x300In California, business enterprises can take many forms (LLCs, corporations, partnerships, etc.). But perhaps the most unique is the “joint venture,” a special entity that, more often than not, is imposed by courts as a matter of law. This is because a joint venture is simply an “undertaking by two or more persons jointly to carry out a single business enterprise for profit.” (Unruh-Haxton v. Regents of University of California (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 343, 370.) 

Joint ventures can be thought of as informal general partnerships, lacking the formalities of partnership agreements and usually lasting for a shorter duration. That said, they nonetheless carry the same fiduciary duties and responsibilities associated with partnerships in California. Moreover, the statutes within the Revised Uniform Partnership Act apply with equal force to both types of entities. (Chambers v. Kay (2002) 29 Cal.4th 142, 151.) 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are well-versed in the law behind joint ventures and partnerships, particularly as these entities relate to real estate projects. With our skills, we stand ready to help all of our clients achieve their litigation goals. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-5-300x300The deed to a property is the most important document a property owner has. It describes the title and its associated rights while operating as the conveyance of property itself. For that reason, the law presumes the validity of deeds without defects on their face. But that does not mean that every deed is legally valid and not subject to cancellation.

In California, there exists a special type of remedy that allows for deeds to be canceled. This, however, is a rare outcome. The deed itself must be void or voidable in order for this to occur. The Underwood Law Firm is well-versed in these types of cancelation claims and holds the skills to help our clients achieve their litigation goals.

What is a deed?

Underwood-Blog-Images-2-300x300In most partition actions, the court appoints a partition referee in order to see that the property is sold or properly divided. The job of a Partition referee requires one to carry out several responsibilities and obligations. The purpose of this article is to provide some information on a partition referee’s duties and authority under the partition statutes.   

What is a Partition? 

A Partition action is a lawsuit that seeks to distribute equally a piece of property or sell said property and distribute the proceeds of the sale equally among the titleholders of the property. The rules governing Partition actions are set forth in the California Civil Code of Procedure.    

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