- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Property Law
- Date Filed: 09-17-2014
- Case #: A152356
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, J.; & Tookey, J.
Lay and defendants hold ranch property together as tenants in common, with a life estate and cross-contingent remainder. Lay sought to partition the property to enforce her rights to rents and profits in accordance with a deed executed between Lay and defendants. The trial court denied plaintiff’s partition claim on the basis that partition was impossible because there was no evidence of the value of the parties’ life estates or life expectancies. Lay appealed the trial court’s decision on the partition in error. The Court held that, because Lay had a life estate, the trial court did not have discretion to deny partition, and the court should have followed the statutory procedure for partition under ORS 105.205 and ORS 105.255. Furthermore, when there is no evidence presented that partition would cause prejudice, then ORS 105.245, requires the court to appoint a referee to partition the property. Reversed and remanded.