If someone owns real estate with another person, as a joint tenant, there may come a time when one owner decides to sell his or her share of the home. Very often disputes arise regarding when, how, or if the property will be sold. That is when it may become necessary to have the judge step in to settle the dispute. Partition is a court process where a joint tenant owner can ask the judge to order the property to be sold by private sale or public auction. Chapter 64 of Florida Statutes governs partition actions which are brought before a court.
In order to request a sale, any owner can file what is called a partition complaint with the court in the county where the property is located. Partition is a matter of right and there are very few defenses to partition. Even if one owner lives in the property and/or the property qualifies as an owner's homestead property, any owner can seek partition of the property. Generally, unless an owner waives their right to partition, the property will be subject to sale by the court.
A sale of the property can occur by a private negotiated settlement, by private sale through a special court master, or by public sale. Most partition actions result in a private settlement between the parties, which provides full control over the sale process and the ability to maximize sale proceeds. Ms. Rountree has successfully negotiated a variety of settlements, including those in connection with partition actions.
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