Generally, when a trial court orders an interlocutory judgment directing a partition by sale, it can appoint a referee to conduct the sale (CCP § 873.010). However, when a party to the partition feels that they have been aggrieved by the actions of this court-appointed referee, they may bring an action against them.
When this occurs, the party may contend that the referee violated some fiduciary duties or committed some torts while performing the role appointed to them by the court. However, when a role is appointed by a court, the person holding that role may be entitled to what is known as quasi-judicial immunity.
What is Quasi-Judicial Immunity?