Court Bonds

What are Referees and What Do They Do?


Oftentimes there can be disputes between co-owners of land or buildings that can’t be resolved by negotiation or mediation. Their ownership interest in property can then be partitioned in a partition action. But who handles this partition of the real property in question? Well, that would be a referee and this type of action is one example of when a referee is appointed by the court.

When a court in a partition action decides that the property should be partitioned, a referee is appointed to handle the actual process of partitioning the property. The court will set the duties and powers available to the referee in their appointment.

A referee may handle either the sale or division of interest in the property of the co-owners. The referee’s job is essentially to carry out the orders of the court in the action. For example, if the court orders the sale of the real property, the referee handles the sale. If the court orders the division, the referee carries out the division.

When the property is to be sold, the court often leaves it up the referee to determine the optimal manner of selling the building or land. Private sales with real estate brokers are one of the most common forms of real estate sales in partition actions.

When the property is to be divided, it can be more complicated. The court may authorize the referee to employ surveyors, engineers, other attorneys, and other applicable staff to most effectively partition the property according to the court’s orders. The referee will submit a report detailing the proposed division, with the court given final authority over whether to go forward or alter the report. Learn more about referees and what they do.

The court can require the referee to purchase a referee surety bond to secure the referee’s obligations as required by the applicable state law. The amount of the referee bond may be set by the court, and is generally based on the value of the assets in dispute.

Where can you most easily purchase a referee surety bond?

Colonial Surety offers the direct and digital way to obtain referee surety bonds. We are the insurance company — which means no agent, no broker, and no middleman. We make it easy to obtain your court and fiduciary bond instantly. The steps are easy — get a quote online, fill out your information, satisfy underwriting requirements, and enter your payment method. Print or e-file your bond from your office. It’s that simple!