Hawthorne Partition Lawyers
The City of Hawthorne was founded by B.L. Harding and H.D. Lombard in 1905 as the Hawthorne Improvement Company. The city's name was inspired by B.L. Harding's daughter's favorite author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who famously wrote The Scarlet Letter. To persuade people to buy homes in the city, the Hawthorne Improvement Company built several factories to show that there was work in the city. Today, Hawthorne is home to over 88,000 residents. As home prices in Hawthorne are rising, residents of Hawthorne may find themselves wanting to sell and get the best value for their real estate, which can lead to disputes for those who jointly own homes. 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 asserting any related cause of action in a cross-complaint after a complaint has been filed and served against that individual in a case decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal known as Duel v. Dounel (2021) 2021 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 2645.
There, Duel purchased two properties, with the grant deeds of both properties granting Dounel a partial interest, and later Dounel sought to partition the Properties based on that partial interest and alleged a purported oral partnership agreement. The trial found that Dounel failed to prove the existence of the oral partnership and entered a judgment in favor of Duel on all claims. While Dounel's appeal was pending, Duel filed the instant suit to cancel the recorded deeds, claiming that the deeds were ineffective as he had transferred the properties to The Duel Family Limited Partnership prior to the recording of the two grant deeds listing Dounel as a partial owner. Dounel filed a demurrer, alleging that Duel's complaint was barred by the compulsory counterclaim rule pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 426.30, subdivision a. The trial court overruled Duel's demurrer and found in favor of Duel on the cancellation claims. Dounel appealed.
The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that "if a party against whom a Complaint has been filed and served fails to allege in a cross-complaint any related cause of action (at the time of serving his answer to the complaint) he has against the plaintiff, such party may not thereafter in any other action assert against the plaintiff the related cause of action not pleaded." (CCP § 423.30(a).) Because Duel sought to cancel the grant deeds which were the basis of Dounel's complaint to partition the Properties, Duel should have asserted the claims in his complaint in the prior suit that Dounel filed. As such, the Appellate Court determined that Duel was barred from asserting those claims in his own action. Thus, Duel explains the consequences of failing to assert related causes of action after a complaint has been filed against an individual.How the Underwood Law Firm, P.C. Can Help
In order to start resolving these situations, you should contact the experienced Hawthorne Partition Lawyer at the Underwood Law Firm, P.C. as soon as you are ready to start the next chapter of your life.