In a victory for Katy Perry, a Los Angeles judge announced Wednesday that she intends to block an effort by nuns to sell a Los Feliz convent to a competing buyer.
The decision marks another major twist in the fierce real estate fight among a pair of nuns, Perry, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and a well-known restaurateur over the fate of the coveted property.
The judge’s ruling puts the pop star one step closer to buying the contentious Los Feliz convent, said Perry’s attorney, Eric Rowen.
Sister Catherine Rose, 86, left, hugs restaurateur Dana Hollister at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat House in Los Feliz.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
The view from the former convent is spectacular.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
There are competing sales of the villa-style former convent in Los Feliz.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
“We have given many years to this archdiocese and we have served them well,” says Sister Rita Callanan, 77. “For the archdiocese to ... put us under a bus and run over us, I’m sorry, it was just too much for me.”(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
“We won the real property issues,” Rowen said in a statement.
But John Scholnick, an attorney representing the two nuns on the other side of the battle, said the fight is far from over, adding that he’s considering an appeal on behalf of his clients, who want to sell the property to restaurateur Dana Hollister.
“As far as I’m concerned,” Scholnick said, “it’s still game on.”
At a brief hearing Wednesday morning, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick said she had “extinguished” the deed to sell the property to Hollister, according to J. Michael Hennigan, who represents the archdiocese.
“We’re obviously pleased,” he said, saying the move paves the way for Perry to buy the property.
Bowick is expected to file a written order Wednesday afternoon.
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary contend that they have the right to sell the convent, which is among the assets of the order’s nonprofit institute.
The nuns say their deal to sell the property to Hollister for $15.5 million was legal.
The Los Angeles Archdiocese, however, has fought to stop the sale, contending that the church has jurisdiction and that the nuns’ sale was unauthorized.
Its agreement to sell the convent to Perry for $14.5 million in cash is legally binding, the archdiocese argued.
It remains unclear whether this ruling allows Perry to buy the property.