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Can I be sued over selling a portion of family owned land?

Somerset, KY |

My grandmother's old farm was passed on to several heirs who then passed it on to their children. The farm was originally split many ways, and then split even more when the second set of heirs got their split. Obviously there are many owners of a portion of the land. However, the controlling share is owned by a family member and she sold only her portion of the land. The other heirs still own their shares. They are now upset and threatening to sue. Do they have any legal standing? My family member is stressed about it and I'm very concerned about her health!

Attorney Answers 3


Unfortunately anyone may be sued over anything. However, if I understand the facts correctly it doesn't appear that there would be a basis for a lawsuit as your relative has the right to sell her interest in any property she owns. There may be additional facts that could give rise to a meritorious lawsuit; however, they aren't evident in the facts as presented.

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While the upset family members may not have any valid basis to set aside the sale of the controlling share, they do have standing to file a Partition action. When there is more than one owner the court can be asked to either partition or sell the property. Not too complicated to partition if its a large enough tract and there are just 2 owners. Unfortunately, you have numerous owners with varying interests and it may prove impossible to partition the land. This would lead to a sale and the money would be divided according to the parties respective interests.

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I have to agree with both Michael's above. Michael Y used my patent answer of YES before anyone finishes the sentence of "can I be sued over "....?
If you sold any land that involved an attorney title certification at closing then you I suspect you had a right to sell it unless there was some private contract that was not on the record.
Sounds like some form of corporation or family trust involved. See a real estate attorney and bring your paperwork.

The information contained in this response is general information and is not legal advice. Nothing contained in this response should be construed as legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship between the attorney and the reader. An attorney-client relationship may only be created by express representation agreement between Glenn Doyle of Doyle & Doyle, PA and Client.

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