It’s common for family members or investment partners to come upon
times where they can’t agree upon proper use or management of real
property. In situations where there is no possibility for a resolution,
it may be appropriate to consider a partition action. Filing a partition
action enables a process where a Court can equitably divide ownership
interests in real property. There are two kinds of partition actions:
a partition in kind, and a partition by sale.
A partition in kind is the process by which the court will actually divide
the property into new and distinct segments of land. A partition in kind
is only possible when the property can be divided equitably; each owner
will eventually own exclusive title in a portion of the previous estate
in accordance with his or her ownership interest in the previous estate.
This process is accomplished through the appointment of a Commissioner,
who will take an oath to fairly and impartially divide the property in
accordance with the owners’ individual interests. The Commissioner
will then submit the proposed division of property to the Court for approval.
If the Commissioner is unable to apportion and divide the real property
without an interested party suffering prejudice as a result of the division,
the Court may order that the property be sold at a public sale. After
completing the public sale, the Court will equitably divide proceeds of
the sale amongst the various owners. When distributing the proceeds, the
Court will consider the value of the property, financial contributions
from each owner toward the purchase and upkeep of the property, and the
value of any loan or other encumbrance on the property. Each owner will
eventually receive a percentage of proceeds that equates with his or her
equitable interest in the property.
At the conclusion of a partition action, the Court will decide every issue
and controversy concerning the property. Therefore, each owner can move
forward with either proceeds from the sale of property or exclusive title
in a portion of the previous estate.
If you are in a dispute with co-owners of real property, contact an attorney
at Jorgensen, Brownell, & Pepin. Our attorneys can help you determine
whether a partition action is appropriate for your unique situation.
Get in touch with us today!