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Compton Partition Lawyer

The City of Compton was first settled in 1867 by a group of 30 pioneers who were led by Griffith Dickenson Compton in an effort to find other methods of earning a living at the end of the California Gold Rush. For many years, Compton was an affluent city, with spacious and beautiful single-family homes. Today, Compton is most famously known as the home to the world's most famous rappers. As a town rich in history, many Compton residents may own property jointly, due to inheritance. As such, residents of Compton may face disputes with co-owners. Generally, a partition action is the best remedy for disputing co-owners in four broad categories:

  • Split real estate dispute;
  • Brother-Sister real estate dispute;
  • Investor-Investor real estate dispute; and
  • Significant other real estate dispute

Recently, the California Court of Appeal addressed the importance of admissible evidence to show a transferor's intent in transferring property in a case decided by the Second District Court of Appeal known as Brown v. Brown (2022) WL 2964977.

There, one sister, Jessica, inherited property from her father, and the other sister, Lachey, sought an action for quiet title, imposition of constructive trust, declaratory relief, and partition, alleging that her father's transfer to Jessica created a trust for his benefit during his lifetime, and that her father's intent was for Jessica to transfer a half interest in the Property to Lachey following his death. Jessica moved for summary judgment, denying Lachey's allegations.

The trial court held that "without the most important factual element established or demonstrated even by a scintilla of competent admissible evidence, none of the cases cited by plaintiff apply," and granted Jessica's motion because Lachey failed to offer competent admissible evidence that her father intended for Jessica to transfer 50% of the Property to Lachey. Lachey appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding "matters which would be excluded under the rules of evidence if proffered by a witness in a trial as hearsay, conclusions or impermissible opinions, must be disregarded in supporting affidavits." (Hayman v. Block (1986) 176 Cal.App.3d 629, 639.)

The Court of Appeal stated that "a resulting trust arises from a transfer of property under circumstances showing that the transferee was not intended to take the beneficial interest. Such a resulting trust carries out and enforces the inferred intent of the parties." (Lloyd Bank California v. Wells Fargo Bank (1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 1038, 1042.) Whereas Lachey's declarations were hearsay or merely statements of conclusion or opinion, lacking foundation, and not statements of fact, Jessica offered the grant deed and a declaration as evidence of their father's intent for Jessica to be the sole owner. Jessica's evidence in addition to the rebuttable presumption that as her father's child, the deed was a gift or advancement, and her father's contemporaneous transfer of other real estate to Lachey and Lachey's mother, show that their father's intent to transfer the Property was for Jessica's sole benefit. As such, the Appellate Court determined Lachey failed to meet her burden of establishing a triable issue of material fact as there was a lack of admissible evidence of their father's intent to benefit Lachey.

How Underwood Law Firm Can Help

In order to start resolving these situations, you should contact an experienced Compton Partition Lawyer as soon as you are ready to start the next chapter of your life.

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“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.