What’s next in Britney Spears’ conservatorship after her father is suspended? Legal experts weigh in

Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for 9/29

Fox News Flash top entertainment and celebrity headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking today in entertainment.

Britney Spears finally got her long-awaited win in court after a judge ruled on Wednesday to suspend her father, Jamie P. Spears, from overseeing the conservatorship that has held a firm grip on her life for over a dozen years.

Spears’ attorney, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, didn’t mince words in his defense of the pop star and told the court that Jamie should have been removed as conservator of her estate long ago.

Rosengart said Spears “wants, needs and deserves an orderly transition” and further argued that Spears “has been abused by this man for the last decade and since her childhood.”

“Britney Spears testified under oath about James Spears cruelty and toxic presence in her life,” he told the judge. “There’s a mountain of evidence mandating his suspension.”

Jamie Spears has been in control of Spears’ finances since 2008 after she underwent series of involuntary holds following a public spectacle that saw her shave her head in front of the paparazzi.

Britney Spears appears on the front page of the Daily News on February 18, 2007.
(Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Judge Brenda Penny heard arguments from Spears’ and Jamie’s side and ultimately ruled that effective immediately “suspension is in the best interests of Britney Spears.”

“The current situation is not tenable,” she added before also ordering that control of all of Spears’ assets be turned over to a court-appointed temporary conservator – a certified public accountant named John Zabel. Judge Penny further maintained that her ruling is not appealable.

Chants outside of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, Calif. echoed for Judge Brenda Penny to “do the right thing” in freeing Spears from the thumb of her father’s control “now.”

For years Spears has taken umbrage with the fact Jamie isn’t a talent or business manager, Rosengart said in court adding, that Jamie shouldn’t be in her life for another day because Spears has long pleaded for a shakeup.

Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears has been in control of her finances since 2008 after she underwent series of involuntary holds. 
(Denise Truscello/WireImage)

After watching the entire matter play out publicly, many are speculating how quickly the whole arrangement can come down. David Glass, a certified family law attorney with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, who is not involved in the case, told Fox News the next step is for the judge presiding over the case to rule on whether the entire conservatorship will end completely.

“The heat had been turned up and the court felt compelled to suspend Jamie since its hands were tied,” said Glass. “All of the documentary info, all of the claims by Britney herself, added up to it not being in Britney’s interest to have her father involved—without any finding that Jamie did anything wrong.”

In 45 days the court will take in order to formulate their ruling to terminate the conservatorship, Glass said when Sears’ next hearing rolls around on Nov. 12, “the court could still ask for a mental health evaluation.”

“The interesting part of this is that Jodi Montgomery, the person with the most ‘control’ over Britney’s life on a day-to-day basis, remains in place with no questions being asked as to her decision-making,” Glass explained – adding that Montgomery’s silence appears tactical.

“The public is pushing the Court to make major decisions as fast as it can. Montgomery, the conservator of the person, has been silent,’ he continued. “I believe it’s because she is wary of upsetting Britney and not maintaining her position in the future. If that is true, it is a complete dereliction of her duty.”

Following the hearing, Rosengart appeared front-and-center to take questions from reporters in front of a packed crowd of #FreeBritney supporters.

During his public address, he anticipated that “Jamie and others are going to face even more serious ramifications for his misconduct” related to alleged listening devices planted in and around Spears’ home and alleged cloning of Spears’ personal phone.

Harry Nelson, founder and managing partner of LA-based healthcare law firm Nelson Hardiman – who is also not involved in the historical court matter – echoed Glass’ sentiment that the court could still mandate that Spears undergo a mental fitness examination before making a complete ruling to terminate the conservatorship. 

Britney Spears supporter Ashley Montano, left, and her sister-in-law Angela Montano demonstrate outside a hearing concerning the pop singer’s conservatorship at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“Judge Penny is under significant pressure to forego the exam in respect of the evidence that this conservatorship needs to end,” Nelson said. “But [Penny] may nonetheless feel it is appropriate to make a clear record of Britney’s competence and ability to manage her own health, business and life without oversight.”

Britney Spears’ camp has consistently claimed that Jamie Spears is seeking some $2 million on his way out – a portion of which is likely to land in the hands of his attorneys and her former business manager, Tri-Star.

Nelson said the court will certainly have to ascertain if Jamie should be granted the bag of cash despite the chance he could be investigated for his alleged misconduct pertaining to Spears’ civil and privacy rights.

“[Jamie] is going to be defending against an ongoing effort from Rosengart to force him to pay back abusive expenses,” he explained. “The court is going to be forced to make some decisions and so-conservator Jodi Montgomery has openly criticized how much Jamie has invested in self-preservation.”

Britney Spears supporter Mona Montgomery of Glendale, Calif., demonstrates outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

At the end of the day, both attorneys are steadfast in their belief that Wednesday’s outcome is a falling domino in a much larger conversation surrounding conservatorships and mental health. 

“As a consequence of Britney’s fame, financial wherewithal to fight for her rights, and public outcry, this case has called significant attention to the way that conservatorships become rubber stamps, self-perpetuating and self-justifying long after they have served their purpose,” stated Nelson.

“Britney is a person who experienced moments of genuine crisis that left her under severe restrictions that most people would find objectionable – including choices about having children or going on tour – for way too long. This is a moment for the disability rights community to call attention and seek new controls and limits to protect the autonomy of people with mental health challenges.”

Source: Read Full Article