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Judge Rules, For Now, No One Can Lay Claim To Los Feliz Convent

LOS ANGELES ( — A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge says the real estate deal of a former convent in Los Feliz to a restaurant owner is invalid.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it's agreed to sell the multimillion-dollar property to Katheryn Hudson, better known as pop superstar Katy Perry, for $10 million in cash and alternative property valued at $4.5 million.

But restaurant magnate Dana Hollister says the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who used to call the nunnery home, already agreed to sell it to her for $15.5 million.

Lawyers were present in court Thursday when Judge James Chalfant issued a temporary injunction on the property's sale.

So, for now, no one can lay claim to the hilltop property while a lawsuit is pending. Attorneys for all parties are scheduled to be back in court Sept. 15.

In the meantime, the judge is allowing Hollister to stay in the property, to which she previously took possession.

She's been order to pay $25,000 to the nuns as temporary rent.

An attorney for Perry expressed in court that his client is willing to rent the property during the lawsuit's pendency.

Both Hollister and Perry are expected to make offers to rent the property after experts help the court to figure out what a fair amount should be.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman is the chief financial officer of the Immaculate Heart order that has five living members left. She says she prefers Hollister get the former nunnery over Perry.

"It would be her home. She mentioned bringing her family, her parents, grandparents, her business," Sister Rose said.

Hollister says at this point she doesn't know exactly what she will do with the property, but said: "It should be a part of this world, and it needs to be a part of the world."

Perry, the daughter of an evangelical minister, met with the Sisters and they agreed to sell the property to her, according to archdiocese spokesperson Monica Valencia, who added that all proceeds of the sale would go to the nuns.

On Thursday, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a statement.

"The care and well-being of all five sisters has always been our primary concern. We were forced to take legal action to protect the sisters from the Dana Hollister transaction which allowed Hollister to take possession of their property. We are grateful that the judge found the sale to Hollister to be invalid, and that he agreed that this was a 'bad deal' for the sisters. At the hearing, the Archdiocese objected to Hollister being allowed to stay on the property temporarily until the continued hearing in September. We are pleased that the court has required rent and initiated a process to determine reasonable rent and a possibility of a different tenant while the litigation continues. It has already been reported that Hollister has removed an altar and possibly other sacred artifacts on the property that should be handled with religious respect.

It is unfortunate that the sisters have been taken advantage of by the Hollister transaction, especially when three of the five sisters have stated in their declarations that they were not in agreement with the transaction. The Archbishop will continue to provide pastoral outreach to the sisters to help them through this process. The Archdiocese will also continue to protect the sisters and ensure that any future transactions will provide them with immediate funding for their care."

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