2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 919 Partition or Sale of Real or Personal Property
Sec. 52-500. Sale or equitable distribution of real or personal property owned by two or more persons. Life estate.

      Sec. 52-500. Sale or equitable distribution of real or personal property owned by two or more persons. Life estate. (a) Any court of equitable jurisdiction may, upon the complaint of any person interested, order the sale of any property, real or personal, owned by two or more persons, when, in the opinion of the court, a sale will better promote the interests of the owners. If the court determines that one or more of the persons owning such real or personal property have only a minimal interest in such property and a sale would not promote the interests of the owners, the court may order such equitable distribution of such property, with payment of just compensation to the owners of such minimal interest, as will better promote the interests of the owners.

      (b) The provisions of this section shall extend to and include land owned by two or more persons, when the whole or a part of the land is vested in any person for life with remainder to his heirs, general or special, or, on failure of the heirs, to any other person, whether the land, or any part thereof, is held in trust or otherwise. A conveyance made pursuant to a decree ordering a sale of the land shall vest the title in the purchaser thereof, and shall bind the person entitled to the life estate and his legal heirs and any other person having a remainder interest in the lands. The court issuing the decree shall make such order in relation to the investment of the proceeds of the sale as it deems necessary for the security of all persons having any interest in such land.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8236; P.A. 82-160, S. 190; P.A. 04-93, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 82-160 replaced "estate" with "property", rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 04-93 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re equitable distribution of property with payment of just compensation to owners having minimal interest.

      This section is not unconstitutional. 23 C. 94; 51 C. 61. It does not authorize the sale of mortgaged lands, free of the mortgage, on petition of a cotenant of the equity of redemption. 36 C. 342. No sale can be ordered unless it appears to be for the interest of the parties; if most of them oppose it, it would presumably not be for their interest. 40 C. 474; but see 98 C. 395. If any of them refuse their assent, the case must be a strong one to justify the court in ordering a sale. 39 C. 62. The compulsory sale of one's property without his consent is warranted only in clear cases. 41 C. 12. "Sale will better promote the interests of the owners," held to mean sale rather than a partition. One asking a sale assumes burden of proving a partition impracticable. 49 C. 517; 98 C. 395. Jurisdiction to be determined by value of property sought to be sold. 50 C. 258. Complaint lies only by the owner of the property. 60 C. 379. Cited. 65 C. 379; 123 C. 256; 134 C. 177. Of act in general; unity of possession necessary. 78 C. 420. Court need not find actual division impracticable. 79 C. 277. Judgment is in rem. 89 C. 214. Holder of recorded, unexpired option to purchase interest of one of several tenants in common is a proper party defendant. 97 C. 517. Sale granted though some of joint owners opposed, and demanded partition. 98 C. 395. Although broad, section 52-495 and this section should be read as not intended to include a sale by partition in lieu of a sale by a trustee empowered to do so. 110 C. 527. To lose right to partition a cotenant must have been ousted of possession. 133 C. 428. Though plaintiff had only equitable title the parties are joint owners within the meaning of the statute. 135 C. 584. The two modes of relief within the power of the court are partition by division of real estate and partition by sale. 143 C. 218. For land title purposes the possibility of a person having issue is never extinct as long as the person lives. 147 C. 34. Ordinarily court accepts claims of parties as to interests held in the property in connection with the distribution of proceeds but here court had to determine whether the owner of a one-half interest was also a lessee. Id., 411. Plaintiff by asking for partition shows intent to sever all contractual relationships and therefore cannot now demand compliance with notice provision required by contract. Id. Right to compel partition by sale only available when life tenant holds the estate either in cotenancy or in severalty "with remainders to his heirs ... or, on failure of such heirs, to any other person". 175 C. 463. Cited. 178 C. 503. Cited. 181 C. 251; Id., 533. Cited. 185 C. 180. Cited. 189 C. 490. Cited. 195 C. 368. Cited. 208 C. 318. In a partition action, one joint tenant or tenant in common cannot dispossess another except by partition in kind or partition by sale pursuant to section and Sec. 52-495, and trial court did not have authority to order defendant to execute a quitclaim deed to plaintiff in exchange for the payment of money. 255 C. 47. Partition by sale and trial court proceedings in partition action discussed. Id.

      Cited. 2 CA 456. Cited. 5 CA 142. Cited. 7 CA 522. Cited. 20 CA 492. Cited. 23 CA 460. Section confers authority on Superior Court to order partition and sale upon the complaint of any person interested. 50 CA 132. Trial court may order plaintiff to execute a quitclaim deed to defendant and defendant to pay money damages to plaintiff. 54 CA 444. Where intergenerational transfer of family real property at end of grantor's life, court has discretion to order private or public sale. 65 CA 813.

      Partition by sale is matter of discretion. 9 CS 136. Cited. 13 CS 131. Cited. 14 CS 169; Id., 386. Wife's special defense to plaintiff husband's partition action of premises alleged to be in possession of both as joint tenants that the parties are separated, divorce action is pending and that by agreement defendant and children are in possession pending entry of final judgment in divorce action is not subject to demurrer. 28 CS 230. Power to order sale of jointly owned property rests on same ground as power to order partition and operative unity of possession must be proved to warrant partition or sale. Id., 381. Cited. 29 CS 465. Cited. 42 CS 36.

      Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 654.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 224 C. 219.

      Cited. 17 CA 4.

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