Lawyer for Britney Spears holds press conference
Britney Spears scored the court victory of a lifetime on Friday when she, along with the world, saw her conservatorship officially end after nearly 14 years.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said on Friday, “The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears … is hereby terminated.”
All parties agreed that Spears has shown she does not lack the capacity to make her own decisions. Penny concluded that the conservatorship is “no longer required.”
The temporary conservator of the estate, CPA John Zabel, will handle the transition of Spears’ assets and matters regarding the trust.
The next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8, which Spears’ attorney, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, requested as a “safety net” regarding her estate.
Confetti falls on Britney Spears supporters outside a hearing concerning the pop singer’s conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles judge ended the conservatorship that has controlled Spears’ life and money for nearly 14 years.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
He called the judge’s decision a “monumental day” at a news conference outside the courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.
Rosengart had previously claimed to Fox News Digital that Jamie Spears, the singer’s father, was ducking a deposition aimed at learning more about alleged recordings from illegally planted listeng devices in Britney Spears’ cellular device and the bedroom in her home.
With the latest developments, many wonder what’s next for the performer professionally and personally when it comes to her finances.
David Glass, a certified family law attorney, who is not involved in the case, told Fox News Digital that in his estimation being present in the courtroom:
“The judge sort of hung her hat on terminating the case on the fact that this was a voluntary conservatorship in the first place and there had never been any sort of psych evaluation of Britney to find that she lacked capacity,” David Glass, a family law attorney, told Fox News Digital.
Glass, who is not involved in the case but was present in the courtroom Friday, said the verdict did not elicit the emotional response he had expected.
“Everyone knew which way this was going. It was completely amicable. And, in fact, a little bit anticlimactic,” he said. “After all the excitement of the other cases, then to come in today and basically be in and out in half an hour, 45 minutes. There are more issues to mop up in terms of paying attorney’s fees and then small issues like that, but I think all those things are going to be agreed to so that no one needs to come back for future hearings.”
Despite the developments Friday, Jamie Spears may not be out of the weeds yet. Britney could still sue her father regarding the purported fortune many believe she should hold based on her body of work.
Experts say she will have to decide whether it makes sense to mount an expensive, time-consuming legal fight.
Family law litigator Christopher Melcher, also not involved in the Spears saga, said the entire conservatorship should have never happened at all.
“There was no reason to place this type of conservatorship over her in the first place,” he said. “The one that her father had placed on her is called a probate conservatorship, and that’s for people who are typically end-of-life, they’re incapacitated, they cannot provide basic things like food, clothing or shelter, or resist undue influence or fraud because they’re incapacitated.”
“Here, the supposed reason for this conservatorship was that she had some mental health or substance abuse problems, and a probate conservatorship is not appropriate for that,” Melcher added.
“There is a state-imposed protective proceeding … that can be extended for somebody who has mental health issues to the point that they’re gravely disabled. And when this conservatorship was requested in February of 2008, she was already under a … hold. So if the court was paying attention, it should have realized that it didn’t need this probate conservatorship that her dad was asking for.”
Melcher said Spears never even had the opportunity to agree to the arrangement.
“The law says that you must bring the proposed conservative physically to court so the court can make its own eye-to-eye evaluation of this person, and you have to give notice. But they didn’t do either one of those things,” he maintained.
Jamie Spears previously helmed the conservatorship, which has controlled Britney Spears’ life and money for nearly 14 years.
Melcher said the judge’s decision freeing Spears to finally make her own life decisions is “an amazing moment for her.”
“She’s almost 40 years old and has now been restored, all these liberties that we take for granted, but that she had not had in her own life for almost 14 years,” he said.
“So the restrictions on this conservatorship were pretty extreme,” he added.
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