PARTITION, ?states. The division which is made between several persons, of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or of goods and chattels which belong to them as co-heirs or co-proprietors. The term is more technically applied to the division of real estate made between coparceners, tenants in common or joint tenants.
3. Partition is either voluntary, or involuntary, by compulsion. Voluntary partition is made by the owners of the estate, and by a conveyance or release of that part to each other which is to be held by him in severalty.
4. Compulsory partition is made by virtue of special laws providing that remedy. "It is presumed," says Chancellor Kent, 4 Com. 360, "that the English statutes of 31 and 32 Henry VIII. have been generally reenacted and adopted in this country, and probably, with increased facilities for partition." In some states the courts of law have jurisdiction; the courts of equity have for a long time exercised jurisdiction in awarding partition. 1 Johns. Ch. R. 113; 1 Johns. Ch. R. 302; 4 Randolph's R. 493; State Eq. Rep. S. C. 106. In Massachusetts, the statute authorizes a partition to be effected by petition without writ. 15 Mass. R. 155; 2 Mass. Rep. 462. In Pennsylvania, intestates' estates, may be divided upon petition to the orphans' court. By the civil code of Louisiana, art. 1214, et seq., partition of a succession may be made. Vide, generally, Cruise's Dig. tit. 32, ch. 6, s. 1 5; Com. Dig. Pleader, 3 F; Id. Parcener, C; Id. vol. viii. Append. h. t. 16 Vin. Ab. 217; 1 Supp. to Yes. jr. 168, 171; Civ. Code of Louis. B. 3, t. 1, c. 8.
5. Courts of equity exercise jurisdiction in cases of partition on various grounds, in cases of such complication of titles, when no adequate remedy can be had at law; 17 Ves. 551; 2 Freem. 26; but even in such cases the remedy in equity is more complete, for equity directs conveyances to be made, by which the title is more secure. "Partition at law, and in equity," says Lord Redesdale, "are very different things. The first operates by the judgment of a court of law, and delivering up possession in pursuance of it, which concludes all the parties to it. Partition in equity proceeds upon conveyances to be executed by the parties; and if the parties be not competent to execute the conveyance, the partition cannot be effectually had." 2 Sch. & Lef. 371. See 1 Hill. Ab. c. 55, where may be found an abstract of the laws of the several states on this subject.
PARTITION, conveyancing. A deed of partition is, one by which lands held in joint tenancy, coparcenary, or in common, are divided into distinct portions, and allotted to the several parties, who take them in severalty.
2. In the old deeds of partition, it was merely agreed that one should enjoy a particular part, and the other, another part, in severalty; but it is now the practice for the parties mutually to convey and assure to each other the different estates which they are to take in severalty, under the partition. Cruise Dig. t. 32, c. 6, s. 15.