State & Local Law News
For well over 125 years, many Americans have lost their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in various legal proceedings. For example, courts throughout this country have often resolved partition actions, a legal proceeding in which a tenant in common seeks to exit a tenancy in common, by ordering a forced, partition sale of the property even when these courts could have ordered a remedy that would have preserved the property rights of the tenants in common. Though partition sales have negatively impacted a broad cross section of people in this country, the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white Americans, and in some instances, Native Americans. The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), a project that the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law helped convince the Uniform Law Commission to undertake in 2007, seeks to address partition action abuses that have led to significant property loss. Thomas W. Mitchell, the Reporter for the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, explains the UPHPA and the history of its enactment by states over the last five years.
Section of State and Local Government Law of the American Bar Association
Thomas W. Mitchell, Restoring Hope for Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, St. & Loc. L. News, Fall 2016, at 6.