Griswold Law: Court-Appointed Referees for Real Estate Partition Sale

Imagine this — three siblings have recently inherited their childhood home. It’s a massive asset, and they want to make sure they honor their parents’ wishes and use the value of the home for the betterment of themselves and their families.


There’s one problem, though — the three siblings can’t agree on how the sale should be split. Should the oldest receive a larger share than the others? Or perhaps the youngest spent more time acting as a caregiver — should they receive more money from the sale? Should a portion of the money be set aside for the grandchildren? How should the sale be split up? Should a sale even take place?


The truth is, disputes just like this happen every day, and sometimes they take years to resolve. Disputes can drag on through court for decades, but a partition referee can help.


At Griswold Law, we pride ourselves on our ability to solve disputes of this nature with equity and fairness. We don’t want disagreements and frustrations to disrupt your daily life any longer than necessary. That’s why our licensed and professional legal team is dedicated to solving your disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Our team of exceptional legal professionals is well-accustomed to refereeing partition sales and resolving disputes like the one described above. But what is a partition sale in real estate? Read on to find out…

What Is a Partition Sale in Real Estate?

The partition remedy, under California law, addresses disputes between co-owners of property. When co-owners cannot agree on how to handle jointly-owned property, any of the parties involved may bring a partition action against another co-owner. Once a partition action is brought against one co-owner by another, the court can direct the sale of the property.


For that reason, a partition sale of a property is sometimes called a “forced sale.” In such cases, the court can order the property to be sold and the proceeds divided in whatever way the court deems appropriate.


Partition sales of property take place for a variety of reasons. Co-owners can be family members, business associates, or other parties who have entered into joint-ownership agreements. Any parties may have any number of reasons for their dispute. Often co-owners disagree over how property should be used, how much money should be invested in the property, or who has the right to use or occupy the whole property. Often, disputed properties are single-residence homes, vacation homes, commercial properties or pieces of land.


As you can see, the partition remedy is useful in a wide range of cases. We at Griswold Law are familiar with its uses, and our team is more than capable of overseeing partition sales as the court-appointed partition referee.

Recent Griswold Law Partition Referee Case

Recently, Griswold Law handled a case not unlike the hypothetical described above. A luxury beach bluff property in a beautiful beach community in Southern California valued at over $10 million had been in dispute for years. 


It was co-owned by an elderly man and his two adult daughters. When they could not come to an agreement concerning the split of the property, one member of the family finally filed a partition action. The Orange County Superior Court appointed our own Richardson “Red” Griswold to referee the sale.


Mr. Griswold interviewed several prominent real estate brokers and had the oceanfront property accurately assessed. Additionally, he facilitated the selection of a broker and the listing of the property for sale. A buyer was found, and the sale was finally completed after years of family strife.


The luxury home had been in the family for decades, but it was time for the sale to go through. Through Mr. Griswold’s efforts and use of the partition remedy, the co-owners were finally able to sell the property in such a way as to satisfy all parties.

Ready to Work With Us?

Griswold Law helped one Southern California family, and we’re ready to help you, too. If you have a family or business dispute, please reach out to us! If you are an attorney and your client is involved in a property dispute and wish to learn more about partition actions or how a court-appointed referee can help, we’d love to get in touch.


For more information, please visit our website. There, you can learn much more about who we are, our team members, and how we can help resolve your family or business disputes. And if you have questions or would like to work with us, please email


You shouldn’t have to wait for decades to have your property disputes resolved. Contact Griswold Law today — we can help you find a solution. We look forward to hearing from you!

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