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Nuns win legal round in battle over former convent

LOS ANGELES — Two nuns who oppose Katy Perry’s proposed purchase of a former convent in Los Feliz from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles won a legal round July 25 when an appellate court panel ruled they do not have to provide the archdiocese with books, records and assets of the institute to which they belong.

Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman are among five members of the California Institute of the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary and are the only members against the sale of their former home to Perry.

The sisters appealed a May 2016 order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick directing that they produce the institute’s records.

Their lawyers argued that the directive should have been vacated because it granted relief that was not requested in the archdiocese’s pleadings.

“We agree that the turnover order improperly granted relief that plaintiffs had not requested in their complaint, against parties who were not named as defendants in the complaint,” Justice Thomas Willhite of the 2nd District Court of Appeal wrote in the 15-page opinion.

Willhite, who is part of a three-justice panel, said Bowick’s order was premised on another order favorable to the archdiocese and Perry that appeared to clear the way for the sale of the property to the singer. However, that order was later vacated by the judge, Willhite wrote.

“Although … the trial court subsequently conducted a new hearing on plaintiff’s renewed motion … and entered a new order granting that motion, that order has been stayed and is presently before this court,” Willhite wrote.

The proposed sale to Perry, 32, would be for $14.5 million, consisting of $10 million in cash and an agreement to provide an alternative property for the house of prayer worth $4.5 million, according to the archdiocese.

Rose and Callahan wanted to sell the property to businesswoman Dana Hollister, who had agreed to pay $44,000 and provide a contingent promissory note.

 

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