Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 872.240 - Joinder of Partition Property

Code of Civil Procedure section 872.240 allows for personal property to be partitioned with real property. The purpose of Section 872.240 is to give parties an avenue to partition their personal property alongside their real property should that be their desire.

Code of Civil Procedure section 872.240 states

Real and personal property may be partitioned in one action.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, c. 73, p. 110, § 6.)

What Is an Example?

“Shawn” and “Julie” are an unmarried couple who bought a house in Los Angeles together as joint tenants. Shawn and Julie each have a fifty percent ownership interest in the property. The couple decides to buy lots of furniture and decorations for their house, which they pay for equally. The couple spends a great amount of money on this personal property, and they share enjoyment of the furniture and various decorations.

After several years, Shawn and Julie’s relationship breaks down. They can’t agree on what to do with the house, so Shawn brings a partition lawsuit. The couple also can’t agree on what to do with the furniture and decorations for the house, so Shawn also seeks a partition of personal property along with the house.

Here, Shawn can do this. CCP § 872.240 allows personal property to be partitioned with real property if it happens in the same lawsuit.

The court orders a partition by sale of the house and the personal property. The house is sold and the sale proceeds accordingly. The court also orders a partition by sale of the personal property. Similarly, all the personal property is sold, and the proceeds are distributed accordingly.

Law Revision Commission Comments (CCP § 872.240)

1976 Addition

Section 872.240 continues the last sentence of former Section 752a. Where different parties are interested in real and personal property joined in the action, severance may be appropriate. See Section 1048 (severance and consolidation of issues and causes).

Assembly Committee Comments

Section 872.240 is one of many partition statutes without a comment from the Assembly Committee. This is not to say, however, that the Committee provided no guidance on this particular statute. Instead, when the Legislature passed the 1976 changes to California’s partition laws, they in large part adopted the Revision Commission recommendations.

The introduction to Assembly Bill 1671 (the bill that brought about the 1976 changes) states that the Revision Commission’s recommendations “reflect the intent of the Assembly Committee… in approving the various provisions of Assembly Bill 1671.” As such, it’s fair to assume that the Revision Commission comment is in line with the Legislature’s own feelings on this particular statute.

Comment or not, however, section 872.240 is rarely invoked. And that’s because co-ownership of personal property is rarer and more difficult to prove than it is with real property, where a deed clearly indicates that two or more individuals hold title to a particular piece of land.

That said, there is one typical situation where this statute might properly find some play: partitions of partnership assets. There, partitioning the partnership’s real property only solves one problem. There are still the partnership accounts to deal with. And in the case of informal partnerships, e.g., joint ventures, there aren’t any formal “accounts” to clearly delineate what belongs to whom.

Simply put, if a partner is seeking partition of the venture’s real property, they will more than likely want their share of venture’s assets, too. Section 872.240 therefore allows the court to sort all of this out concurrently.

What’s more is that case law appears to support this line of procedure. Courts will “apply the long-established rules of partition to the property division aspects of a partnership dissolution action.” ( Logoluso v. Logoluso (1965) 223 Cal.App.2d 523, 530.)

Additionally, in Tacherra v. Tacherra, an unpublished appellate decision out of the First District in 2012, section 872.240 was used as the basis of a partition action involving a partnership. There, two brothers entered into a joint venture and acquired significant real property holdings. Eventually, one sued the other for partition and conversion.

In upholding the trial court’s interlocutory judgment of partition, the court noted the plaintiff’s complaint was “primarily a suit for partition of the assets of the partnership” and cited section 872.240.

Client Reviews
“We were in need of a real estate attorney. Eli Underwood provided excellent legal advice and services. He explained everything well and followed through with all important issues that needed attention. We found him to be reliable, courteous, patient and extremely professional. We highly recommend Mr. Underwood without any reservations.” I.S.
"I own a real estate investment company that operates across multiple states (California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and more), whenever I run into an issue that needs legal attention, Eli is my first call. I've been working with him for years. He is an amazing attorney and I highly recommend him." Thank you for your help Sir!" T.W.
"Mr. Underwood is a fantastic Lawyer with extraordinary ethics. He responds quickly, which is rare these days, and he is very knowledgeable in his craft. It was a pleasure working with him and we will definitely use his services in the future if needed. Thank you for your help Sir!" M.O.
"Eli took our case and controlled every hurdle put before us. I one time commented to him that he must love his job because it seemed that he was always available. When talking about my case to anyone I always bring up where, I believe, the other parties Lawyer tried to take advantage of my wife and me. Eli stopped him in his tracks. On top of it being easy to work with Eli, it was a pleasure to have had him represent us. We were in good hands." E.T
"We were in need of an attorney with considerable knowledge of real estate law and the legal issues related to property ownership. Eli Underwood went above and beyond our expectations. In keeping us abreast of our suit, his communication skills were outstanding. This talent was especially demonstrated when dealing with the apposing counsel. We feel this gave us a tremendous advantage over the opposing party that resulted in us reaching a successful outcome. I would highly recommend Eli Underwood as we found him to be an exceptional attorney." P.B.
"In our need for legal services we found Eli to be well informed and on top of our case and our needs. Our's was not an ordinary case as it was a case with many facets. It was a very convoluted case. There were multiple owners involved in a property dispute where one of the owners sued the rest of the owners with a Partition Suit. Needless to say Eli was instrumental in helping us resolve our differences and gained us a profitable sale all with good end results for all. If you hire Eli Underwood you will not be disappointed!" M.A.