Thernmain concern of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is and has always been the carernand well-being of all the IHM Sisters. In 2015, the Archdiocese wasrnforced to take legal action on behalf of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM)rnSisters to protect them from an illegal and invalid sale of theirrnproperty. Without proper approval,rndeveloper Dana Hollister took possession of their former convent in Los Feliz,rnknown as the Waverly property, for just $44,000 and a contingent promissoryrnnote without any guarantee that the Sisters would ever receive any additionalrnpayment.
Thernlitigation resulted in a jury trial before Judge Bowick. On November 17 the jury awarded thernArchdiocese and IHM Institute $3.47 million, the full amount of damages theyrnsought in legal fees caused when Hollister improperly and illegally recorded arndeed transferring ownership of the former IHM convent.
Thernjury also found that Hollister acted with malice, oppression or fraud, withrnrespect IHM Institute and the Archdiocese, sufficient to support an award ofrnpunitive damages against Hollister. Today,rnthe jury reconvened to determine punitive damages and awarded $6.67 million tornthe IHM Institute and Archdiocese. ThernArchdiocese is grateful to the members of the jury for their service.
Hollister’srnactions left the IHM Sisters with almost nothing for their property, while sherntook possession of their former convent to prevent the sale of the property tornsinger Katy Perry who had presented a cash offer for $14.5 million dollars forrnthe Waverly property and a replacement for the House of Prayer of Priests. The proceeds from any sale of the propertyrnwill be for the IHM Institute to be used for the care and well-being of allrnfive remaining Sisters.
JudgernBowick previously ruled in March 2017 and April 2016 that the Hollister salernwas invalid and that Hollister has no right, title or valid interest in thernproperty. The IHM Institute is the rightful owner of the property. rnHowever, Hollister continued to challenge the ruling in court.
Hollister’srnactions have kept the Archdiocese in litigation for more than two years costingrnmillions of dollars in legal fees funded by the Archdiocese on behalf of itselfrnand the IHM Institute. The November 17 award sought to recover legal fees asrndamages caused when Hollister improperly and illegally recorded a deedrntransferring ownership of the former IHM convent.
Hollisterrnknowingly took advantage of two of the elderly sisters which jeopardized thernfuture health and well-being of all IHM Sisters. The Archdiocese and counsel for Ms. Perry werernin court seeking a just resolution in the best interest of all the fivernremaining IHM Sisters and to hold Hollister accountable for damages and legalrnfees.
The Waverly property had been vacant since 2011 because it becamerntoo costly for the retired Sisters to maintain and no longer accommodated theirrnphysical needs. The IHM Sisters agreedrnto have the Archdiocese sell their former convent on their behalf in 2014. Regardless of any sale, the Archdiocese hasrnpledged to take care of all of the IHM Sisters for the rest of theirrnlives.
For more information on the litigationrnconcerning the Waverly property, read the related article: Court rules against real estate mogul who pressured nuns with ‘bad deal’