Appeals Court Halts Katy Perry’s Battle With Nuns

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — A California appeals court stayed a ruling in Katy’s Perry bid to buy a nun’s convent for $15 million, putting the brakes on the pop star’s real estate plans.
     On Tuesday, a panel of the Second District California Court of Appeal stayed an order that granted Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s motion for summary adjudication and granted in part Perry’s motion for a judgment on the pleadings.
     “Real parties are requested to file and serve a preliminary response to the petition on or before June 24, 2016. Petitioners may file and serve a reply on or before July 15, 2016 ,” the two-page order states.
     Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick tentatively declined last month to reconsider a ruling that could allow Perry to buy the convent, in the face of letters that show the Vatican has yet to weigh in on the legal battle.
     Last year, Perry’s company The Bird Nest sued developer Dana Hollister, who wanted to turn part of the Los Feliz-area property into a boutique hotel after nuns Rita Callanan and Catherine Holzman resisted a sale to the “Roar” singer because they find her public image unappealing.
     Bowick ruled that Gomez and the Los Angeles Archdiocese, not the nuns, have the authority to sell the eight-acre property.
     At a hearing last week, the nuns’ lawyer John Scholnick insisted that two letters from church officials submitted to the court show that the Vatican will still weigh in on the dispute.
     “There is no question that the matter is pending in front of the Vatican,” Scholnick told Bowick last Tuesday.
     In the first letter, dated March 22 and addressed to Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, church official Jose Rodriguez Carballo calls the case “unfortunate” and says that the sisters have submitted documents to support their case.
     “We have responded to them informing them that we were seeking further information from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in order to conduct a comprehensive, objective study of the case,” writes Carballo.
     In a second letter addressed to the sisters and dated March 30, official Sebastiana Paciolla tells the nuns that the Vatican is seeking more information from the archdiocese “in order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the case at hand.”
     “Once all the information from both parties has been adequately studied we will inform you of our judgment regarding the matter at hand,” Paciolla writes.
     Bowick previously granted the church’s motion for summary adjudication but stopped short of validating Perry’s offer on the convent. Tuesday’s order stays the previous decision.
     Perry’s company claims that Hollister is an “opportunistic developer” who had persuaded the nuns they had authority to sell the property, though that power belongs to the archbishop.
     The nuns’ spokeswoman Margaret Cone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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