When multiple individuals are co-owners of a property in Florida, and they cannot agree on how it should be used or managed, state law permits one of the parties to file a partition action. Keep reading to find out the essentials involved in Florida partition lawsuits.
What is a Partition Action in Florida? – An Explanation
If two or more co-owners cannot agree on whether a property should be divided, used, or managed, the last resource may be a dissolution matter. A partition action forces the sale of jointly owned property and divides the sale proceeds between the co-owners.
Examples of situations involving partition lawsuits in Florida include:
- A couple in which the individuals are not legally married files to partition an apartment after unexpectedly ending their relationship
- A family member who is a co-owner of inherited property and wants to force the sale of that asset
- Business partners who want to split up the assets of a company but cannot agree on the value of the property
Florida Partition Lawsuit – Understanding the Process
The plaintiff of a partition lawsuit should work with an expert attorney to file a Petition for Partition Action with the appropriate court. Under state law, any individual who owns a fraction of a property has the right to file in court for partition.
According to Florida Statutes §64.031, “the action may be filed by any one or more of several joint tenants, tenants in common, or coparceners, against their cotenants, coparceners, or others interested in the lands to be divided.”
Florida Statutes §64.022 specifies that “partition shall be brought in any county where the lands or any part thereof lie which are the subject matter of the action.” When preparing the petition, Florida Statutes §64.041 require the plaintiff to include:
- “A description of the lands of which partition is demanded,
- The names and places of residence of the owners, joint tenants, tenants in common, coparceners, or other persons interested in the lands according to the best knowledge and belief of plaintiff,
- The quantity held by each, and
- Such other matters, if any, as are necessary to enable the court to adjudicate the rights and interests of the party”
The same statute adds that “if the names, residence or quantity of interest of any owner or claimant is unknown to plaintiff, this shall be stated. If the name is unknown, the action may proceed as though such unknown persons were named in the complaint.”
Florida Partition Lawsuit – The Court’s Judgment
Florida Statutes §64.051 provides that “the court shall adjudge the rights and interests of the parties, and that partition be made if it appears that the parties are entitled to it.”
Hence, “when the rights and interests of plaintiffs are established or are undisputed, the court may order partition to be made, and the interest of plaintiffs and such of the defendants as have established their interest to be allotted to them, leaving for future adjustment in the same action the interest of any other defendants.”
In most cases, the court may force a sale of property and divide the proceeds among the co-owners using the principles of equitability.