A federal court judge in Baltimore ruled yesterday in favor of the D.C. government in a dispute with the federal government over the ownership of the 216-acre site of the city's former Glenn Dale Hospital in Prince George's County.

Built in the 1930s, the Glenn Dale Hospital was originally a tuberculosis sanitarium and later became a nursing home for the chronically ill and disabled.

When the District closed the facility four years ago and sought to lease the 26 buildings, the federal General Services Administration and the Justice Department filed suit, claiming the federal government owned the property and was entitled to dispose of it as it saw fit.

U.S. District Court Judge Herbert F. Murray ruled yesterday that a "trust exists in favor of the District," according to information released by the D.C. corporation counsel's office. The judge rejected the federal government's argument that the D.C. government is a federal agency for budget purposes and that D.C. revenues technically are federal funds.

Although the federal government was listed as the title holder when the city first acquired the property, the court ruled that this was done to allow the District to use federal condemnation powers to aquire land outside its boundaries.