GOODWYN, Justice. This is an appeal by the respondent below from a decree of the circuit court of Cullman County, in equity, overruling her demurrer to appellees' bill seeking a sale of lands for division. The bill, to the extent here material, contains the following allegations and prayers:
The only grounds of the demurrer argued are those questioning the authority of the equity court to order a private sale of the property. No point is made concerning the effect on the bill of the purported agreement that J. F. Giles, one of the complainants, shall have a one-ninth undivided interest in the lands in lieu of his alleged life estate therein.
The only authority cited by appellant in support of her argument is § 186, Tit. 47, Code 1940. No brief has been filed on behalf of appellees.
Section 186 provides as follows:
We find no statute detailing the manner of selling property under a decree of the equity court in a partition proceeding. In this connection, it should be noted that the chapter of the Code relating to notices and hours of sale (Code 1940, Tit. 7, Chap. 14, § 713 et seq.) has been held to have no application to sales made under a decree in equity. Parker v. Clayton, 248 Ala. 632, 633, 29 So.2d 139. It has also been held that a court of equity in this state has no original or inherent jurisdiction to order the sale of lands for division among the joint owners; that the power to do so is statutory. Berry v. Berry, 266 Ala. 252, 254, 95 So.2d 798; Hoffman v. Jordan, 263 Ala. 23, 27, 81 So.2d 546; Hall v. Hall, 250 Ala. 702, 705, 35 So.2d 681; Sandlin v. Anders, 210 Ala. 396, 397, 98 So. 299; Donnor v. Quartermas, 90 Ala. 164, 170, 8 So. 715, 24 Am.St.Rep. 778; Lyon v. Powell, 78 Ala. 351, 356. Such statutory authority is given by § 186, supra.
This brings us, then, to the question whether the equity court, in proceeding "according to its own practices in equity cases", as provided for in § 186, has authority to order a private sale of the property. We are constrained to hold that it does. Anderson v. Steiner, 217 Ala. 85, 87, 115 So. 4; Rucker v. Tennessee Coal, Iron & R. Co., 176 Ala. 456, 471, 472, 58 So. 465; Middleton v. Rigsbee, 179 N.C. 437, 102 S.E. 780, 782; Benet v. Ford, 113 Va. 442, 74 S.E. 394, 396; Tilley's Alabama Equity Pleading and Practice, § 301, p. 394; 50 C.J.S. Judicial Sales § 16, p. 601; Daniell's Chancery Pleading and Practice, 6th Ed., Vol. 2, star page 1293. Cf. Moore v. Foshee, 251 Ala. 489, 491, 38 So.2d 10; Brewer v. Brewer, 250 Ala. 222, 223, 34 So.2d 13. See Parker v. Clayton, 248 Ala. 632, 633, 29 So.2d 139, supra, where the decree provided for a sale at auction or by private sale and no question was raised as to the propriety of so providing.
In Anderson v. Steiner, supra, it was said [217 Ala. 85, 115 So. 5]:
From Rucker v. Tennessee Coal, Iron & R. Co., supra, is the following [176 Ala. 456, 58 So. 470]:
The rule is thus stated in 50 C.J.S. Judicial Sales § 16, p. 601, supra:
In Moore v. Foshee, supra, [251 Ala. 489, 38 So.2d 11] it was again pointed out that "our statutes (§ 186 et seq., Title 47, Code of 1940) were intended for a liberal use of the power of a court of equity in proceedings for the partition or sale for partition of estates of joint owners or tenants in common. [Cases cited.]"
It seems to us that a court of equity, under its broad powers, can order a sale of property for division among the joint owners either at public auction or at a private sale. The authority to do so arises from the duty of the court to have the land sold in such manner as will produce the highest possible sum for distribution. The prime objective in all cases is to sell the property so as to realize the best price obtainable. Of, course, any sale made, whether by public auction or at private sale, must be confirmed by the court. In carrying out its authority to order a sale of property the court should do so "with a view to fairness, prudence, and just regard to the rights of all concerned." Benet v. Ford, supra [113 Va. 442, 74 S.E. 396].
The decree overruling the demurrer to the bill is due to be affirmed.
LIVINGSTON, C. J., and SIMPSON and COLEMAN, JJ., concur.