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Nun and Archbishop Fight Over Selling Convent to Katy Perry

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 30, 2015 3:58 PM

Katy Perry in a convent. Enough said.

Well, actually, if the nuns have anything to say about it, Katy Perry won't be able to live in the convent of her dreams. The I Kissed a Girl singer wanted to buy a former convent in the hills above Los Angeles from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but it may already be sold to someone else.

Whose Convent Is It?

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary used to live at the convent in question. However, four years ago, the diocese moved the sisters to another location. Unhappy with their treatment, the sisters claimed that they pooled their money and bought the convent from a benefactor. Of the original 52 nuns of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, only five are still living. Now, they want to sell the convent to pay for their living expenses and care.

The nuns decided that they would sell the convent to restaurateur Dana Hollister for $15.5 million dollars. The end. Everyone lived happily ever after. Wait, what about Katy Perry?

Katy Perry was actually trying to buy the convent from the Archdiocese. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez claims that the nuns did not have the right to sell the property, only he did. He's decided he wants to sell to Katy Perry for only $14.5 million.

Let the Drama Begin

Not surprisingly, drama ensued. Archbishop Gomez has sued Hollister to void her sale. The nuns promise that they will fight the case, but the lawyers involved can't even agree on which of them are representing the nuns. So, who actually has the right to sell the property?

Normally, the person who owns the property can sell it. The best place to look to determine ownership is on the deed and in the county recorder's office. Recording a deed after a property purchase is extremely important. When there is a dispute about ownership or property, the party that recorded their deed first is usually the winner.

In this case, did the nuns record their deed after they purchased the property? If yes, then they'll probably win and be able to sell the convent. If they didn't, the nuns will have a harder time proving ownership and can expect a long court battle.

Property dispute aside, I don't think the nuns really want Katy Perry living in their old convent. As Sister Rita told the LA Times, "I found Katy Perry and I found her videos and ... if it's all right to say, I wasn't happy with any of it."

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