Code of Civil Procedure 872.120 CCP – Motions, Reports and Accounts; Hearing and Determination; Decrees and Orders (Partition Actions)

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California Code of Civil Procedure 872.120 is the California partition statute that allows the court to have broad powers to effectuate its orders to ensure cooperation of the parties. The statute provides that:

In the conduct of the action, the court may hear and determine all motions, reports, and accounts and may make any decrees and orders necessary or incidental to carrying out the purposes of this title and to effectuating its decrees and orders.[1]California Code of Civil Procedure 872.120

The Law Revision Comment explains that: “Section 872.120 is new. Generally, its purpose is to give the broadest possible statutory authorization for powers that the court, to a large extent, apparently already had. The succeeding sections of this article elaborate on, but do not exhaust, the court’s power in partition actions. While partition actions in California are a creature of statute (Capuccio v. Caire, 207 Cal. 200, 277 P. 475 (1929) ), they are nonetheless equitable in nature (Elbert, Ltd. v. Federated Income Properties, 120 Cal.App.2d 194, 261 P.2d 783 (1953) ), and the statutory provisions are to be liberally construed in aid of the court’s jurisdiction. See Sections 4 and 187.”[2]California Code of Civil Procedure 872.120, 1976 Law Revision Comment

Citing the Law Revision Comment, an unpublished case explained that: “A trial court may expressly reserve jurisdiction to act in the event the parties fail to comply with provisions of the judgment, but it need not do so, as Code of Civil Procedure section 872.120 (section 872.120) confers continuing jurisdiction by authorizing the court in a partition action to ‘hear and determine all motions, reports, and accounts and … make any decrees and orders necessary or incidental to carrying out the purposes of [section 872.010 et seq.] and to effectuating its decrees and orders.'”[3]Zhang v. Li, No. B279399, 2019 WL 441936, at *3 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2019), reh’g denied (Feb. 25, 2019)

Another unpublished opinion found that “[t]his means that ‘[w]here equity has acquired jurisdiction for one purpose, it will retain that jurisdiction to the final adjustment of all differences between the parties arising from the causes of action alleged.’ (Klinker v. Klinker (1955) 132 Cal.App.2d 687, 694.)”[4]Ide v. Spencer, No. C048657, 2006 WL 184249, at *7 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2006) The court went on to note that “the court in this case expressly reserved jurisdiction to act in the event the parties failed to comply with the provisions of the stipulation for entry of judgment and judgment….” [5]Id.

Among the orders that the court can issue are restraining orders, including orders “Restraining unlawful interference with a partition of the property ordered by the court.”[6]California Code of Civil Procedure 872.130

The bottom line is that courts have broad powers in partition actions to ensure that parties cooperate with the court, its orders, and any court-appointed referee.

References

References
1 California Code of Civil Procedure 872.120
2 California Code of Civil Procedure 872.120, 1976 Law Revision Comment
3 Zhang v. Li, No. B279399, 2019 WL 441936, at *3 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2019), reh’g denied (Feb. 25, 2019)
4 Ide v. Spencer, No. C048657, 2006 WL 184249, at *7 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2006)
5 Id.
6 California Code of Civil Procedure 872.130
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