Upon the return of the summons, if the parties summoned do not appear, or appearing
fail to show sufficient cause against making partition of the premises, the Court
of Chancery shall enter upon the record of the Court a decree that the partition be
made among the parties interested, stating the shares to be allotted to them, respectively. The Court may then direct that a commission be issued, directed to 3 freeholders
of the county to be appointed in the decree as commissioners, authorizing and directing
them, after being duly sworn or affirmed, according to the best of their skill and
judgment, to go upon the premises and make a just and fair partition thereof amongst
the parties in the proportions mentioned in the commission. The commission shall further direct the commissioners that, if in their opinion
a partition of the premises will be detrimental to the interests of the parties entitled,
the commissioners shall make no partition, but shall appraise the whole of the premises
at the true value in money; and that they shall duly return their proceedings, under
their hands and seals, according to the command of the commission, with a survey of
the premises, when lands are divided, to be made by some skilful surveyor to be appointed
by them, and to be sworn or affirmed. The Court may vary the terms of the commission and the oath or affirmation to be
taken by the commissioners if necessary to carry into effect the purpose of such commission
under this chapter. The acts of a majority of the commissioners shall be valid as if done by the whole.
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