Who Pays For Partition Action?
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Who Pays For Partition Action?

In the US, the costs of the partition action procedure are normally the responsibility of both the plaintiff and the defendant. Fees are known to be outrageous and can reach up to $100,000 (depending on the state and specifics of the case). They can cover anything from selling the subject property to the cost of hiring an attorney.

California is not an exception to the rule that some states offer special procedures for requesting legal fees during the partition action procedure. California has the authority to award attorney fees, which means that one party must cover the other parties’ expenditures.

“The court shall apportion the costs of partition among the parties in proportion to their interests or make such other apportionment as may be equitable,” states California Code of Civil Procedure 874.040. Stated differently, the court possesses the authority to allocate legal fees based on the respective equitable interests of each party. Although it is customary for both parties to cover their own costs, the court has the authority to grant fees to one party over the other, thus reducing the overall expense.

A Partition Action: What Is It?

The legal procedure by which a court is asked to divide, partially or entirely, the equitable interest in real property among co-owners who are unable to agree on how best to use the asset together is known as a partition action. Stated differently, a partition action is the process by which a court orders co-owners who wish to sell their equity in a home to separate from those who want to sell nothing at all.

It is difficult to reach a consensus when two or more co-owners have divergent ideas about how to manage real estate. Everyone who has an equitable interest in a house has the right to be heard, if for no other reason. But that right also carries the risk of a standoff that no one can win. The right of partition comes into play if the owners are unwilling to compromise and must look for outside assistance.

A partition action, in its most basic form, is a civil lawsuit filed by the owners who wish to sell against the owners who are unwilling to sell. A judge will be assigned to the case, and he or she will consider the evidence put forth by each party before reaching a conclusion. Depending on how the case develops, the judge might decide in favor of the homeowners who wish to remain in their house or suggest one of three forms of partition actions to force the sale of the property.

Categories Of Action

Real estate, the world’s largest asset class, is now widely associated with scale and diversity. Real estate is available in a variety of forms and sizes, encompassing properties such as commercial warehouses and single-family homes. Because of this, the court’s decisions in certain partition action cases may not apply to others. Rather, in response to public demand, the legal system has created a number of partition action procedures, including:

Partition in kind: Although the name might not imply it, a court will order a partition in kind when the asset in question can be divided and given to each owner in a physical manner. Partitioning in kind is typically reserved for vacant or raw land since real estate is hard to physically divide (or impossible in some cases). In order to give owners peace of mind that the land they receive is equally valuable as their counterpart’s portion, a partition in kind order divides the land into equally equitable portions rather than just equal sizes.

Partition by sale: The court will usually use a partition by sale if a real estate partition action is unable to divide the property physically. As the name suggests, a partition by sale will mandate the sale of the house, with the proceeds being allocated to the co-owners according to their respective equitable interests.

Partition by appraisal: If at least one party is prepared to keep ownership of the asset, the courts may choose to divide the property based on appraisal. As a result, the owner who wants to keep ownership of the asset will acquire the other owners. Nevertheless, the court will designate a third-party appraiser whose upcoming valuation will function as the official price rather than establishing an arbitrary amount.

Craig Cherney is a trusted client advisor and a sought after real estate lawyer and expert witness who is hired by the nation’s top Real Estate Litigation Attorneys to help resolve their litigated real property matters.  Craig has appeared as a testifying expert witness before judges and juries in California, Arizona, Nevada and other jurisdictions across the country. Craig Cherney, Esq. Expert Witness Real Estate480-399-2342.  If you are litigating an easement case, Craig Cherney might be able to help you advance and win your case.

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