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Ontario Partition Lawyers

Ontario is the county seat of San Bernardino County, was named for the province of Ontario in Canada and was settled in 1882 by George and William Chaffey. As a city with agricultural roots, residents often find themselves in shared ownership of parcels of real estate. When deciding to go separate ways, owners may dispute their interests in a shared property, arguing that one contributed to its development more than the other and vice versa. In these times, the guidance of an Ontario Partition Lawyer is invaluable.

An experienced Ontario Partition Attorney often finds disputing joint owners in the following categories:

  • Split land one party wants to sell;
  • Brother-Sister land one wants to sell; 
  • Investor-Investor land one wants to sell; and 
  • Girlfriend-Boyfriend land one wants to sell;

A knowledgeable Ontario Partition Lawyer will be able to comfortably discuss the procedures for the sale of property. Code of Civil Procedure section 873.510 provides that a referee who the court appoints to sell the property must do so as required by the court. Nevertheless, a court is required to order a sale as all the parties agree upon. (CCP § 873.600.) The law is structured to permit parties to a partition action to state the terms of sale prior to entering into a referee’s contract. That said, the law does not permit a party to totally restrict a sale by injecting new terms when a sale is pending. (Sullivan v. Dorsa (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 947.) In that instance, all parties’ consent would be required.

That said, persons who are not named in the lawsuit, and not serve, and have not appeared are not required to consent since they will not be affected by the judgment in the action. (see Law Rev. Comm. Com to CCP § 873.600.) Code of Civil Procedure section 873.610 provides that a court may specify the manner, terms, and conditions of sale as it finds to be appropriate in its discretion. (CCP § 873.610.) Indeed, the court can solicit recommendations from a referee, but cannot approve the referee’s report until there is a court hearing on the topic. (CCP § 873.610.)

Specifically, these include the following: (1) form, manner, and contents of notice of sale; (2) minimum bid and right to reject all bids; (3) terms of credit; (4) prior estate, charge, or lien to which the property will be subject; (5) escrow and title insurance expenses; (6) agents' commissions; (7) procedure as to increased offers at court confirmation; and (8) sale of items of personal property individually, in a single lot, or in several lots. (see Law Rev. Comm. Com to CCP § 873.610.)

In these instances, a court has a number of options that it may pursue. A judge can order a credit a sale of the property. (CCP § 872.630(a)). The court can also specify any credit terms that it views to be proper. (CCP § 873.630.) If the court fails to specify the terms of credit, however, the referee may accept offers that propose varying terms. (Law Rev. Comm. Comment to CCP. § 873.630.) Additionally, the court may specify the terms of security for the property’s sale, including the manner in which title to the security is to be taken. (CCP § 873.630(c).) If there are minors or unknown owners, the court may direct that a trustee or other fiduciary hold the security for them and act on their behalf [Cal. L. Rev. Comm. Comment to Code Civ. Proc. § 873.630].

At the Underwood Law Firm, our experienced Ontario Partition Lawyers are well versed in the requirements of the action. They can ensure that the process leads to the greatest benefit for the property owner.

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