Division of the Budget
Landon State Office Building Phone: (785) 296-2436
900 SW Jackson Street, Room 504 larry.campbell@ks.gov
Topeka, KS 66612 Division of the Budget http://budget.kansas.gov
Larry L. Campbell, Director Laura Kelly, Governor

February 4, 2019

The Honorable Rick Wilborn, Chairperson
Senate Committee on Judiciary
Statehouse, Room 541-E
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Dear Senator Wilborn:
SUBJECT: Fiscal Note for SB 55 by Senate Committee on Judiciary
In accordance with KSA 75-3715a, the following fiscal note concerning SB 55 is
respectfully submitted to your committee.
SB 55would enact the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. The bill would assist in
the partition of property, which is owned as tenants in common and some portion was inherited or
the co-tenants are relatives. SB 55 begins with a definitions section and defines “heirs property.”
The bill proposes that in the case of “heirs property” the new Act would apply and supplement the
current statutory provisions for partition.
The court would first decide whether a property is “heirs property.” If so, then the court
would determine the fair market value of the property either by ordering an appraisal, adopting an
agreement of the co-tenants, or conducting an evidentiary hearing. The evidentiary hearing would
determine the fair market value of the property when the evidentiary value of an appraisal is
outweighed by the cost of an appraisal. If the court orders an appraisal, it would also appoint an
appraiser who would file the completed appraisal with the court. The court would be responsible
for sending notice of the appraisal to each party. An evidentiary hearing would then determine the
fair market value of the property based on the appraisal and any other evidence.
If the court determines that the property is “heirs property,” the plaintiff in a partition action
would be held to strict notice requirements, including posting a sign on the property. Under the
current partition law, courts may appoint commissioners. SB 55 would require the commissioners
to be disinterested and impartial.
Under SB 55, if any co-tenant requests partition by sale, the court would notify the other
co-tenants that this interest may be bought out within a certain period of time. If one co-tenant
The Honorable Rick Wilborn, Chairperson
Page 2—SB 55

would buy all of the interests of the co-tenants requesting partition by sale, the court would provide
notice and set a date for payment. If more than one co-tenant would buy out the others, the court
would allocate the right to buy the interests according to fractional ownership interests, provide
notice, and set a date by which the parties would pay. If no co-tenant would be willing to buy out
the others, then the court would provide notice. During the time between notifying the co-tenants
of the decision and the payment date, the following rules would apply: if all co-tenants pay on
time, the court would issue an order reallocating all of the interests and disburse the payment
amounts; if no one pays on time, then the court would proceed as if no one offered to buy out any
others; if some, but not all payments are on time the court, on motion, would give notice to the
other co-tenants who paid that there is an interest remaining and the purchase price.
Once the co-tenants, who were bought out, receive notice of the remaining interest, they
would have 20 days to respond to the court. If one of them buys the entire interest, the court would
issue an order reallocating the remaining interest to that co-tenant, reallocate the interests of all
other co-tenants, and disburse the payment. If no one buys the remaining interest, the court would
resolve the partition, but if more than one of the co-tenants, who were bought out, buys the
remaining interest, the court would reapportion the interests and disburse payments.
Also, if any of the co-tenants fail to appear during this process, a co-tenant requesting
partition by sale may request an order from the court to authorize the sale of the defaulting co-
tenant’s interest. If the court determines that the sale of the interest would be fair and reasonable,
then it may order the sale after all other purchase prices have been paid and the interests have been
The remaining interests after the buyout would be partitioned by the court in-kind. The
court may require some co-tenants to pay other co-tenants to make the value of the in-kind
distributions just and proportionate. For co-tenants who did not appear, are unknown, or
unlocatable, their interests would be combined and undivided, but would be part of the partition
A court may also refuse to order a partition in-kind if the court determines it would result
in manifest prejudice to the co-tenants as a group. In making this determination, the court may
accept requests to aggregate individual interests and would consider a variety of factors related to
practicability of division, potential economic waste, length of ownership, sentimental value, the
use of the property, how the costs have been paid in the past, and other factors.
If a partition by sale is ordered, the court would appoint a real estate broker subject to
certain criteria. If the broker does not receive an offer for the court determined value within a
reasonable time, then the court would conduct a hearing and approve the highest outstanding offer,
redetermine the value of the property and keep the property on the market, or order the property
sold by sealed bids or at auction. The court would set the terms of the auction or sale.
If an offer for at least the court determined value is received, the broker would file a report
with the court within seven days of receiving the offer and the sale would be completed.
The Honorable Rick Wilborn, Chairperson
Page 3—SB 55

The Office of Judicial Administration states enactment of SB 55 could have a significant
fiscal effect upon the Judicial Branch because it creates many new requirements for the district
courts regarding partition of property cases. Until the courts have had an opportunity to operate
under the bill’s provisions, a fiscal effect cannot be estimated. Any fiscal effect associated with
SB 55 is not reflected in The FY 2020 Governor’s Budget Report.


Larry L. Campbell
Director of the Budget

cc: Janie Harris, Judiciary