I own a boat with an equal partner who I am not related to. I would like to end the partnership but my partner will not agree to sell or to buy me out. I cannot afford to keep it any longer. How can I force sale?
1 Answer from Attorneys
There are two possible legal routes. First, perhaps you can force the sale of the boat under California's "partition" laws, which provide an exit strategy for an unhappy co-owner of property. Partition is much more often used regarding real property, but the law makes it specifically available for co-owned personal property as well; see Code of Civil Procedure sections 872.010 et seq., especially 872.010(c) and 872.210(a)(1). Whether partition will work may depend upon whether a true legal partnership really exists and is the sole owner of the boat, or whether you and your "partner" are in fact the co-owners of the boat and what you call a "partnership" is just a cooperative co-ownership agreement. Whether the arrangement was for business or pleasure purposes may be decisive as to whether a true partnership in the legal sense exists. If a partnership in the legal sense exists, you probably should proceed under California partnership law to dissolve the partnership.......see, inter alia, Corporations Code sections 16801(1) and 16802. In either case, I would think it more than 50% likely that your partner or co-boat-owner would cave in and negotiate a sale and division of the money as an out-of-court settlement rather than pursue the court case to trial and final judgment.