Vealencis lived on 20 acres of land that she owned
45/144ths of. The other 99/144ths was owned by the Delfinos. The land
was co-owned as a tenancy in common.
Vealencis also operated a garbage business on the
The Delfinos wanted to sell off most of the land to a real
estate developer. They petitioned the Court for a partition by sale
to partition the property and give the proceeds of the sale to themselves
In a tenancy in common, both parties owned a
percentage of the entire land, so Delfino couldn't sell off part of the
land without Vealencis' approval.
Vealencis made a motion for a judgment of partition in
There are two kinds of partition that can be awarded by
Partition in kind is a division of the property
itself, making two independent parcels of land.
Partition by sale constitutes a forced sale of
the land, followed by division of the profits among the tenants.
If either party wants out, then a court must come
up with a way to divide the property.
The Trial Court found for Delfino and ordered a partition
by sale. Vealencis appealed.
The Trial Court found that there was no way to divide up
the property without injuring the interests of one party or another, so partition
by sale was the only equitable solution.
The Court reasoned that the presence of Vealencis'
stinky business would reduce the value of Delfino's land.
Vealencis maintained that her business was not stinky.
The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed.
In general, courts have traditionally favored partition
in kind over partition by sale, because partition by sale
forces someone to sell their land without their consent.
The Connecticut Supreme Court found that the effect of
Vealencis' garbage business on the value of the remaining land was not
sufficient to warrant a partition by sale.
The Court found that courts must consider the interests of all the tenants
in common and not merely the economic gain of a single tenant. A partition
by sale would force Vealencis to give up her home and would
jeopardize her business.
Turns out, after this case was over and the land was
partitioned, Vealencis' land was worth about $46k, while Delfino was able
to sell his land for over $725k. There are many uncertainties when trying
to come up with an equitable solution for land partitioning.