A judge has closed an auction of clothes worn by Judy Garland of Catholic University Wizard of Oz Amid court battles over clothing ownership, the WTOP reported.
United States District Court Judge Paul Gardeff has instructed Catholic University and auction house Bonhams not to have anything to do with clothing until a lawsuit is heard between the university and the family of Reverend Gilbert Hartk, a longtime Catholic drama director. Father Hartok’s family claims that actress Mercedes McCambridge gave him the dress as a personal gift after helping him abuse war materials; The Catholic University says the costume was presented to Father Hart as a professor of drama in his official capacity and so it belongs to the university.
Amin al-Sarraf, an attorney at the Catholic University, quoted an article in 1973 The Washington Post, Which states that Father Hart wanted the costume to be shown on campus theaters, WTOP reported. “The university’s position is that the lawsuit has no basis in law or reality because the Catholic university is the rightful owner of the uniform and has no property interest in the estate of Father Hartok,” al-Sarraf told WTOP.
Father Hartk’s relative, Tony Lehmann, told WTOP that the family was “upset” by the way the Catholic University was handling the case. “They’re just misinterpreting what it was, and it was a gift for Gilbert,” Lehmann said.