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San Marcos Partition Lawyer

The City of San Marcos is located in San Diego County and is home to almost 95,000 residents. In 1797, the Spanish settled on the land, but it wasn't until the late 1850s when the first permanent settlement was built. Originally, the land was used to produce wine and honey. Today, the town boasts a small-town atmosphere despite its rapid growth rate oer the past decade. Over 60% of the housing units in San Marcos are owner-occupied, suggesting that residents of San Marcos jointly own their homes. Residents of San Marcos who jointly own property 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

When a party is entitled to a partition, a trial court shall make an interlocutory judgment determining each party's interest in the property and may order the manner of partition at that time. (CCP § 872.720(a).) Recently, the California Court of Appeal addressed the determination of the manner of partition based on equitable considerations in a case decided by the First District Court of Appeal known as Dorfman v. Carter (2021) 2021 Cal.App.Unpub. LEXIS 5220.

In that case, Dorfman and Carter were the two trustees holding title as tenants in common with an undivided one half interest in three units of a building, and later Dorfman sought to partition the Property. Dorfman moved for summary judgment based on his argument that a physical partition would violate the Subdivision Map Act, the San Francisco Subdivision Code, and the express terms of the deeds of trusts by destroying the collateral on which the loans were issued. The trial court concluded that because given each party's 50% interest in the Property, the number of units, and the restrictions placed on transfers by deed of trusts, and strict rules against condominium conversions, the Property could not be physically divided. Carter appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding that "any partition in kind must comply with any applicable laws, regulations, or ordinances governing the division of property." (CCP § 872.040.) Further, the Appellate Court stated that although partition in kind used to be favored since it does not compel a person to sell his property against his will, the 1976 revision changing the standard from "great prejudice" to "more equitable" demonstrated that the Legislature recognized that the sale of property is preferable "in many modern transactions … since the value of the divided parcels frequently will not equal the value of the whole parcel before division. Moreover, physical division may be impossible due to zoning restrictions or may be highly impracticable." (Butte Creek Island Ranch v. Crim (1982) 136 Cal.App.3d 360, 365.) As a partition in kind of the Property would violate the laws and regulations, the Appellate Court determined that it was not the appropriate manner for partition.

How Underwood Law Firm Can Help

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

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.