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What is a Partition Action?

Partition actions, also known as partition lawsuits, are legal proceedings that are used
to divide and distribute jointly owned property. In California, partition actions are
governed by state law, specifically, the California Code of Civil Procedure, Sections

Partition actions can be initiated by any co-owner of a property, and they can be used to
divide both real property (land and buildings) and personal property (such as vehicles,
furniture, and other possessions). Partition actions are typically used when two or more
co-owners disagree on how the property should be used, maintained, or sold.
There are two types of partition actions that can be initiated in California: partition in
kind and partition by sale.

Partition in kind is when the property is physically divided into separate portions, and
each co-owner receives a share of the property. This type of partition is typically used
when the property can be divided into separate, distinct parcels, such as a piece of land
or a building with multiple units.

Partition by sale is when the property is sold, and the proceeds are divided among the
co-owners. This type of partition is typically used when the property cannot be divided
into separate parcels, such as a single-family home or a business.

To initiate a partition action in California, the co-owner must file a petition with the court
in the county where the property is located. The petition must include a description of
the property, the names and addresses of all co-owners, and a request for either
partition in kind or partition by sale.

Once the petition is filed, the court will appoint a referee to oversee the partition
process. The referee is typically a real estate agent or appraiser who will determine the
value of the property and how it should be divided or sold.

If the co-owners cannot agree on the partition process, the referee will make the final
decision. The referee’s decision can be appealed to the court, but the court will
generally defer to the referee’s expertise.

Partition actions can be complicated and contentious, and they often require the
assistance of an experienced attorney. If you are considering initiating a partition action
in California, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected
and that you achieve the best possible outcome.

In conclusion, partition actions are an important tool for co-owners of property in
California who are unable to agree on how to manage or dispose of their jointly owned
property. Whether you are seeking a partition in kind or a partition by sale, it is important
to understand the legal process and seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to
ensure that your interests are protected.

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