Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 874.210 – Persons Bound by Judgment

Code of Civil Procedure section 874.210 is another incredibly important partition statute that governs who is to be bound by a final judgment of partition. This statute allows for a partition judgment to bind most, if not all other interest holders to prevent further litigation.

Code of Civil Procedure section 874.210 states:

The judgment in the action is binding and conclusive on all of the following:

  1. All persons known and unknown who were parties to the action and who have or claim any interest in the property, whether present or future, vested or contingent, legal or beneficial, several or undivided.
  2. All persons not in being or not ascertainable at the time the judgment is entered who have any remainder interest in the property, or any part thereof, after the determination of a particular estate therein and who by any contingency may be entitled to a beneficial interest in the property, provided the judge shall make appropriate provision for the protection of such interests.
  3. Except as provided in Section 874.225, all persons who were not parties to the action and who have or claim any interest in the property which was not of record at the time the lis pendens was filed, or if none was filed, at the time the judgment was recorded.
What is an Example?

“Shawn” and “Julie” are siblings who inherit property from their parents. Even though they own equal shares, Shawn treats the home as his own, and refuses to allow Julie onto the property. Fed up with being denied the benefits of the home, Julie sues for partition.

Eventually, following extended litigation, the Court orders the property to be sold in a partition by sale. After the sale is confirmed, the liens are paid off, and the sales proceeds are distributed, the Court is able to issue a final judgment of partition.

When the Court does so, the judgment binds all persons who were parties to the action with known or unknown property interests under section 874.210. It even binds non-parties, if their interests were not of record when the lis pendens was filed as part of the lawsuit. The exception to this is in section 874.225, and that requires that the plaintiff, here Julie, to have known about the non-record interest when she filed her lawsuit.

Law Revision Commission Comments (CCP § 874.210)

1976 Addition.

Section 874.210 supersedes portions of former Sections 766 and 787. See also Section 872.540 (judgment does not affect certain oil and gas interests).

Subdivision (a) makes clear that all parties to the action are bound by the judgment, including the heirs of a decedent joined pursuant to Section 872.530 and unknown persons joined pursuant to Section 872.550. Subdivision (a) supersedes former Section 766 (1), (3) and the first portion of former Section 787.

Subdivision (b) continues the substance of former Section 766 (2).

Subdivision (c) supersedes the last portion of former Section 787. For an exception to subdivision (c), see Section 874.230 (unrecorded interests known to plaintiff).

Subdivision (d) supersedes former Section 766(4) and the middle portion of former Section 787.

Assembly Committee Comment

Unlike with many of the other partition statutes, section 874.210 actually includes an “official” Assembly Committee Comment from the California Legislature. However, it is a word-for-word repetition of the Law Revision Commission Comment above.

This makes sense, as the Legislature essentially endorsed the Revision Commission Report when it passed the new partition statutes. In fact, the introduction to Assembly Bill 1671 (the bill that contained the new partition laws) states that the Revision Commission’s recommendations “reflect the intent of the Assembly Committee… in approving the various provisions of Assembly Bill 1671.” This demonstrates that the intent of the Legislature was essentially in line with that of the Revision Commission.

As to the comment, the first thing one will note is the reference to subdivision (d), when the statute itself does not include such a subdivision. This is because subdivision (d) was initially in the statute.

It read: “All persons claiming under any of the foregoing persons.” In 1984, though, the statute was amended to get rid of this portion of the statute. In the words of the Legislature, “Subdivision (d) is deleted because it added nothing to subdivisions (a)–(c) and was inconsistent with Section 874.225 (persons not bound by judgment) in certain cases.”

Nevertheless, section 874.210 is an incredibly important statute within the scheme of partition law. “The policy behind a partition action is to permanently end all disputes about property and to remove all obstructions to its free enjoyment." (LEG Investments v. Boxler (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 484, 497.) As such, if the judgment of partition was not binding on all interest holders in the property, then the owners would find themselves in court all over again.

Thus, section 874.210 is expansive in its classification of those persons who are bound. Under subdivision (a), any party to the action is bound, no matter the form of their interest. Under subdivision (b), future interest holders are also bound, provided the judge provides their interests with some form of protection. And subdivision (c) binds even those persons who were not parties, but who did not have interests of record at the time the lis pendens was filed at the beginning of the action.

Contact Us

Here at Underwood Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys are here to help navigate the complex web of case law and statutes surrounding partitions. If you are thinking of filing a partition, are already in the midst of a partition suit, or just have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.

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