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Rounds & Sutter LLP Rounds and Sutter
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Southern California Partition Action Attorney

Seasoned Representation for Partitions and Other Real Estate Matters in Ventura and Westlake Village

The partition attorneys at Rounds & Sutter help co-owners of property resolve disputes that may result in partition actions. If you co-own property in California, you have certain rights. When you and your co-owner disagree about how land should be apportioned and dealt with, you may need to pursue a partition action. Our experienced residential and commercial real estate attorneys are ready to help.

At Rounds & Sutter, our real estate attorneys have years of experience assisting property owners, developers, and investors with all manner of real estate issues, including real estate purchases, sales, leases, and disputes. When co-owners of a property cannot resolve their differences, or when one party refuses to agree to a sale, a partition action may become necessary. Our real estate legal team will help you protect your rights in the event of a dispute, including forced sale in a partition action. with offices in Ventura and Westlake Village, our real estate lawyers assist buyers, sellers, co-owners, landlords and tenants in real estate transactions and litigation throughout Southern California.

What Is a Partition Action in California?

A partition action is a forced sale or division of a piece of property. When multiple people own a piece of property and they disagree on what to do about it, one or more parties can seek partition to either force a sale or division of the property. The partition action ultimately ensures either sale or equitable division of the property among co-owners.

Anyone who wants to dissolve joint ownership of property jointly owned with another person has the right to bring a partition action. Commonly, partition actions arise from ownership that results from:

  • Inheritance, when multiple beneficiaries (often siblings or other family) share an inherited property
  • Divorce, when property is jointly owned by the former spouses
  • Co-investors in real estate
  • Friends who jointly own property

In California, partition is an absolute right for property owners. Co-owners can seek partition no matter how small or large their interest in the property may be.

What Happens in a Partition Action?

In most cases, partition actions end in sale. One party files a complaint for partition in court, after which they serve defendants and post notice to alert anyone with interest in the property. Once ownership is proven, the court will typically appoint a partition referee, a neutral third party to oversee the partition. The referee then hires a realtor to market the property to establish and obtain the property’s full market value. Ultimately, the referee can put the property up for sale, and the sale proceeds will be divided among the co-owners in accordance with their share of ownership.

The defendant/co-owner has the option to purchase the property at sale. More commonly, the co-owner will offer to settle the matter for the amount the plaintiff would receive in a public sale. Settling can reduce the time, cost, and effort involved in pursuing the full partition sale. If no settlement is reached and the plaintiff does not withdraw their action, the matter will proceed to sale. There are very few exceptions to the right to partition; typically, a partition action can only be stopped if the parties have a written agreement waiving the right to partition.

If you are involved in a dispute with a co-owner of your property, talk to an experienced real estate and partition attorney. Your California partition lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

Call Rounds & Sutter for Help With a Partition Matter

If you are involved in a dispute over real estate, if you are seeking to partition a spot of land, or if you intend to enter into a real estate transaction, contact Rounds & Sutter at our offices in Westlake Village or Ventura. We provide advice and representation across the spectrum of real estate law matters in Southern California.

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