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Involuntary Assignment

19 January, 2016 - 16:39

It may be a misnomer to describe an involuntary assignment as a “right”; it might better be thought of as a consequence of the right to own property. In any event, if a partner is sued in his personal capacity and a judgment is rendered against him, the question arises: may the judgment creditor seize partnership property? Section 28 of UPA and RUPA Section 504 permit a judgment creditor to obtain a charging order, which charges the partner’s interest in the partnership with obligation to satisfy the judgment. The court may appoint a receiver to ensure that partnership proceeds are paid to the judgment creditor. But the creditor is not entitled to specific partnership property. The partner may always pay off the debt and redeem his interest in the partnership. If the partner does not pay off the debt, the holder of the charging order may acquire legal ownership of the partner’s interest. That confers upon the judgment creditor an important power: he may, if the partnership is one at will, dissolve the partnership and claim the partner’s share of the assets. For that reason, the copartners might wish to redeem the interest—pay off the creditor—in order to preserve the partnership. As with the voluntary assignment, the assignee of an involuntary assignment does not become a partner. See Figure 23.1 .

Figure 23.1 Property Rights