INTRODUCTION  .  .  .  .
It is no fun to be involved in any kind of dispute, particularly, as so often happens, with a family member, a former partner, or someone who has been your friend.  When the dispute involves real property, a home, a farm, a commercial building, or whatever, there can be a lot of money at stake.  Emotions can run high, tempers can flare, and fears can be exaggerated.

The most important objective of this website is to remove the mystery from partition litigation.  If you are involved in such a dispute, the materials here should help you understand your situation.  Perhaps, if you urge the other disputing parties to visit this site as well, their improved understanding will be conducive to a peaceful resolution. 

If you are an attorney, potentially or actually involved in a partition matter, the information here will help you better advise your clients, hopefully expediting the resolution of the dispute.

For as long as there have been laws, and some degree of civilization, there have been disputes among co-owners of real estate.  The law that governs the rights of co-owners in this context dates back to the late 1400's and Henry VIII.  The law of partition is essentially the same throughout the English speaking world and the former colonies of Great Britain.  For example, in India, as land titles are being sorted out and formal boundaries established for the first time, partition suits are common.

With all this history, one would think that the issues are well understood.   In the United States, the fundamental principles are well established and the most important to remember are: (1) that a co-owner is almost always entitled to partition by division if possible, and if not, by sale; and (2) that a co-owner has no preferential right to purchase the other party's interest in the absence of an agreement specifically granting such a right.
With the exception of the above flower, which was selected to impart a upbeat perspective on the discussion, the photographs on these pages were selected to illustrate the incredible variety that characterizes real estate properties.  They have come from many sources, including pictures taken by friends and family.

I want to take a moment to thank those who have helped me put this website together.  Many of the pictures were taken by my daughter Kelsey and by Anita McQueen, my good friend who lives in Kansas.  My son Jordan made some great suggestions. My brother Alan has given me many textual suggestions and my brother Robert has helped with the HTML issues.  David Nemer, Esq. of San Francisco and Frederick Hertz, Esq. of Oakland are both experienced in partition litigation and were kind enough to review the articles and their suggestions have been invaluable.  During 2007, many people contacted me through an earlier version of this website and often offered very constructive suggestions.  I am grateful for their inputs.
You are invited to participate in the development of this site.  If you have a question concerning a partition problem or would like to add information, go to the Contacts page and email the moderator. You will receive a prompt response and if your situation is of general interest, it may be added to the site.
USING THIS WEBSITE:  I hope you will find this site easy to use and informative.  There are two sets of navigation buttons on each page, usually at the bottom.  The Case Histories and the Articles pages are set up as indexes and clicking on the titles will take you to the specific items.  I am responsible for the content and the errors, if any.  Thank you for visiting.

Michael Pecherer