On Thursday, Judge James Chalfant ruled the sale between the current Los Feliz covenant owners, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart, and restaurant owner and property developer Dana Hollister invalid, saying it was a “bad deal”.
Only five of the nuns who originally lived there are still alive, and two of them have objected to Perry taking ownership of their former home.
The “Roar” singer did not attend the hearing.
If you don’t already know, Katy Perry wants to buy a $15 million former convent in Los Angeles, and the sale hasn’t been sailing smoothly.
Reuters reports that the judge is not anticipating a speedy resolution to the dispute, which could drag on for two years.
This means that the ultimate fate of the lavish eight-acre property in the hills near Hollywood, in need of restoration but valued at around $15 million, will likely be tied up in several months’ worth of costly litigation.
But one of the nuns, Sister Rita Callanan, told The Los Angeles Times: “I found Katy Perry’s videos”.
The archdiocese said that the three other remaining sisters supported the sale to Perry.
The same day the suit was filed, Judge Robert O’Brien issued a temporary restraining order directing Hollister to permit archdiocese officials and their attorneys to enter the property.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the sale was improper and invalid”, Chalfant said in the latest twist in the legal battle. (They’re not fans, according to legal filings, “for what should be obvious reasons.”) The estate, which was once home to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is also worthy of attention.
“Obviously, Catholic nuns are not particularly enamored of the image that Katy Perry puts out”, he said outside the court.
Chalfant said the case boiled down to control and ruled that the dispute should be governed by church, not civil laws.
Before it was a convent, the property was a private residence, rarely photographed, and few people have ever seen it up close.
The property was bestowed to them by a devout Catholic who wanted the nuns to keep him in their prayers. The archbishop, however, contends the nuns didn’t have authority to make the sale and Perry’s $14.5 million offer for the property is a better deal.
Occupancy will be determined at a hearing on September 15.
However, if Perry and the archbishop sensed victory, the judge had disappointing news.
The five nuns have made no secret about why they are siding with Hollister over the provocative pop singer.
For his part, Gomez cites both canon and California law as being on his side in the bid to annul the nuns’ transaction with local restaurateur Dana Hollister.