My best friend's parents purchased a large lot of land over 20 years ago along with two other couples. Her father passed away a few years ago and his share went to his wife. One of the other spouses has also died. That leaves a widow, and widower and one couple now owning this land. My friend's mother, the family of the widower (he suffers from Alzheimer's and has a guardian ad litem handling his affairs) wish to sell the land which is now valued at about $3 million, roughly 10 times what they paid for it. The owners have had several offers over the past ten years, several before the deaths of the two original owners. However the couple has repeatedly refused to sell and, recently, will not even respond to written communiqués from the others or their respective attorneys. A month or so ago, the couple left the country in an effort to avoid a summons on the matter. They will be returning soon because they have other business interests which require attention.
In the case in which California divorcée Betty Broderick murdered her lawyer ex-husband and his much younger new wife, she refused to agree to the sale of their marital home. She wanted $1 million for the house although it was only worth about $350,000. She was only trying to make life difficult for her soon-to-be ex during the settlement portion of the divorce proceedings. However, her husband invoked some doctrine in which he was able to sell the home without her approval, cooperation, or agreement due to her unreasonable refusal to sell the property.
Is there such a doctrine in the State of Maryland? Can you force co-owners to sell property so that you can enjoy the fruits of your investment while still able to do so? Everyone involved is in their late 80s now. The property was originally purchased as an "investment" (which seems to be a smart move, considering how much it has appreciated). My friend's mother needs her share of the potential proceeds to pay some medical bills and to be able to move closer to her other children who live out-of-state. At this rate, everyone will be dead, with the land passing to their heirs, which will create even more people who have to come to a meeting of the minds!