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.