Britney Spears wants to charge her dad with 'conservatorship abuse,' judge allows her to hire private attorney

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Fox News 14 July, 2021 - 06:14pm 29 views

Who is Britney Spears conservator?

Samuel Ingham Samuel D. Ingham III has been Spears' court-appointed attorney ever since Judge Reva Goetz, Penny's predecessor, first placed the pop star into the conservatorship in 2008. According to The New Yorker, Spears has been paying Ingham $520,000 per year for his services. NPRBritney Spears' Conservatorship Is Back In Court: Who's Who, And What They Want

When is Britney's hearing?

➼ His purpose of this hearing: Jamie is asking the court to “to investigate the veracity of the allegations and claims made by Ms. Spears at the June 23, 2021 status hearing.” VultureWhat Everyone’s Fighting for at Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Hearing Today

Why is Britney Spears in a conservatorship?

Britney was put under conservatorship following her very public breakdown in 2008. Following a year of seemingly erratic behavior—such as shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo's car with an umbrella—the singer was put under a "5150 hold" in a psychiatric hospital for a mental health evaluation. HarpersBAZAAR.comWhat Is the "Free Britney" Movement? - Britney Spears's Conservatorship Details

What is conservatorship abuse?

While there are a variety of ways that an elderly individual may be abused or exploited, one of the most common types involves financial exploitation. A common way for an individual to take advantage of an older individual is to become his or her conservator, or guardian. peckbloom.comWhat is Conservatorship Abuse?

Spears, who joined the hearing by phone, also told the Los Angeles court that she wants her father charged with conservatorship abuse.

After Spears' blistering public comments about the conservatorship last month, various parties in Britney Spears' orbit started making some legal moves: Bessemer Trust, the wealth management company that had signed on to be co-conservator of Spears' estate, asked to resign. Her longtime court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III also requested to resign, asking the court to appoint someone else in his place. Spears' mother, Lynne Spears, as well as Jodi Montgomery, the conservator of her personal life, have also initiated different routes for Britney Spears to choose her own legal representation.

There are a lot of moving parts to the case. If you want to know more, here's a quick rundown on who's involved.

TMZ first reported last week that Spears had approached Rosengart, asking him to represent her.

Presumably, Rosengart will be the one to follow through on Britney's wishes to end the conservatorship, and start the process of proving Britney Spears willing and able to care for herself.

#FreeBritney activists are keeping a close eye on the proceedings, and gathered outside the courtroom, like they did last month. Only this time the hearing was held in person (the last one was remote), and the judge restricted any recording after Spears' testimony leaked online.

Disability rights activists have also been watching this case closely. Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union teamed up with 25 disability rights organizations to file an amicus brief in support of Britney Spears choosing her own lawyer. In a statement, they called Spears' probate conservatorship "a court-ordered legal status that strips people with disabilities of their civil liberties," adding that the right to choose one's own counsel is a key part of the Sixth Amendment.

Politicians have been paying attention too, with everyone from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voicing their support for Britney Spears. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. spoke in front of #FreeBritney activists ahead of the hearing to show his support for the movement. "Britney's been abused by the media, she's been abused by her grifter father, and she's been abused by the American justice system," he said, while calling for a federal change to conservatorship laws.

Read full article at Fox News

Britney Spears breaks down in tears, accuses father of 'conservatorship abuse' in court

Yahoo News 14 July, 2021 - 05:33pm

The pre-scheduled court hearing was forced to address the sudden departure of her court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, who has handled her case since 2008. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved Ingham’s resignation and his replacement with Britney Spears’ chosen attorney, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart.

Britney Spears broke down in tears during Wednesday's hearing, explaining to the judge that she was “extremely scared” of her father, James “Jamie” Spears, and that she is not willing to be evaluated in order to remove him.

“I’m here to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse,” she said. Later she added that she wanted him investigated and that “this conservatorship has allowed my dad to ruin my life.”

She told the court that every part of her life has been controlled, down to her diet, and that she worked 70 hours a week.

"Their goal was to make me feel crazy and I'm not," she said. "And that's not OK."

Britney Spears asked the court last month for the right to choose her own counsel, alleging that she was not made aware of her right to terminate the conservatorship and that she felt silenced by Ingham.

"My lawyer, Sam, has been very scared for me to go forward, because he's saying if I speak up, I'm being overworked. ... He told me I should keep it to myself," Spears said in court June 23. She said that even though she has built a relationship with Ingham, she would like "to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself."

Ingham filed his resignation with the court two weeks later, saying he would step down as soon as the court saw fit to replace him.

Spears made it clear last month that she wants to end her conservatorship and regain her independence, and getting a new attorney might be the first step. She has also asked for more power in her case in the meantime, wanting more say in her medical care and the freedom to complete her therapy from her home.

Her desire to have her own private attorney is supported by both her mother, Lynne Spears, and her conservator-of-the-person, Jodi Montgomery. A motion filed on behalf of Lynne Spears asked the court to allow her daughter to hire her own attorney, saying she is well enough to take care of herself.

"Now, and for the past many years, Conservatee is able to care for her person and in fact has, inside of the parameters of this conservatorship, earned literally hundreds of millions of dollars as an international celebrity. ... Her capacity is certainly different today than it was in 2008, and Conservatee should no longer be held to the 2008 standard, whereby she was found to 'not have the capacity to retain counsel,'" Lynne Spears' motion said.

Montgomery, who has been Spears' conservator-of-the-person since 2019, filed a separate support motion suggesting that the court compromise by assigning her a temporary guardian ad litem to help her select an attorney.

The motion said Montgomery "believes that a Guardian ad Litem for this limited purpose is the only way to both honor [Britney Spears'] wish to select counsel without a medical evaluation and protect her interests."

The filing also revealed that Montgomery has had multiple conversations with Spears about her request to retain her own attorney. It included screenshots of what appear to be redacted text messages between her and Spears, although the contact at the top of the messages is referred to as "Jane Doe."

"Getting you a new attorney, by filing with the court is the best legal approach," one of Montgomery's messages said. "Your dad has excellent attorneys. and you should too."

A message purported to be from Spears read: "I need u to stay as my co conservator of person. I'm asking u for ur assistance in getting a new attorney."

The American Civil Liberties Union requested the right to address the court Wednesday in an amicus brief filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Along with about two dozen mental health and disability rights organizations, the ACLU argued that the ability to hire her own counsel is Spears' constitutional right.

"Spears' right to select an attorney is not only a basic tenet of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, but also consistent with principles of personal autonomy and agency," said Zoë Brennan-Krohn, a staff attorney with the ACLU's Disability Rights Project. "The California Superior Court must recognize Spears' autonomy and the rights of people with disabilities to live independent, self-directed lives as active members of their communities."

Fans have latched on to Spears' case, starting a #FreeBritney campaign to end the conservatorship. Those who started the movement have expressed concerns that her father, James "Jamie" Spears, has abused what was meant to be a temporary arrangement for his personal gain.

Jamie Spears and his team have vehemently denied accusations that he has abused his position, repeatedly saying he only has his daughter's best interests at heart. He has been assigned as his daughter's conservator since 2008, shortly after she had a public breakdown. He was temporarily made the sole executor of her estate in 2019 after his co-conservator, Andrew Wallet, resigned.

A year after Wallet resigned, Ingham filed a petition on behalf of Britney Spears to have her father removed. Ingham said Spears was afraid of her father and would rather have a professional handle her case.

The judge denied the request but did assign a financial institution, Bessemer Trust, to be Jamie Spears' co-conservator. Spears was also assigned a conservator-of-the-person, Montgomery, who handles her nonfinancial needs.

Bessemer Trust filed its resignation with the court after Spears' testimony last month, saying it entered into the conservatorship under the impression that she wanted to be in it and has since learned otherwise.

Britney Spears speaks out in court again, telling the judge, "I thought they were trying to kill me."

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The son was furious when his dad wouldn't just give him the money for free.

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Britney Spears Cries in Court, Judge Approves New Attorney

TMZ 14 July, 2021 - 05:06pm

3:04 PM PT -- Score one for Britney. The judge ruled she can hire Mathew Rosengart to represent her in the conservatorship.

1:43 PM PT -- The courtroom is now closed, and hearing has started. Check back here -- we will have updates as soon as they take a break or the hearing ends. There's really no telling how long the proceedings will last.

Britney Spears is hoping it's "out with the old and in with the new" in her conservatorship -- a new hearing in the case is going down, and her new hand-picked attorney will have the spotlight.

The judge in Brit's conservatorship will hear arguments Wednesday in downtown L.A. on several issues -- the most important one to Britney -- is who will be her attorney going forward.

Like we first told you ... Britney's longtime lawyer, Sam Ingham, filed paperwork seeking to get out of the case, and she's already decided she wants former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to be her new attorney.

We're told his plan is to explain how Britney has a constitutional right to Due Process ... which includes being able to select counsel of her choice. That certainly exists in a criminal case, and it’s likely Rosengart will argue that the conservatorship is similar to a criminal case because it deprives Britney of her personal liberty.

She claims she hasn't been able to get married or have any further kids -- which she apparently wants with Sam Asghari -- and made it clear ... she wants to be done with the conservatorship..

Britney Spears Conservatorship

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