Britney Spears Wins Major Legal Victory In Conservatorship Ruling
Britney Spears has achieved a major legal victory in the conservatorship battle against her father.
The 38-year-old is currently embroiled in litigation to secure her estate, which has been under the purview of her dad Jamie Spears since 2008, meaning she currently has no control over her finances. He became sole conservator in 2019 following attorney Andrew Wallet’s resignation.
In the 12 years since, the #FreeBritney movement has grown in numbers and stature online. In August, the popstar requested that her father be removed as sole conservator of her estate, but to no avail.
As reported by Variety, Britney has been given permission to expand her legal team after a petition request was granted. Jamie had previously opposed his daughter’s request due to the further cost of more lawyers.
Conservatorship is a legal concept in the US that sees a guardian or another ‘protector’ given control of a person’s financial affairs, and life in general, due to concerns over their health, be it mental or physical.
Britney’s initial request to release her father from the conservatorship actually led to it being extended until February 1, 2021 by a California judge.
While Britney says she wants her future court hearings open to the public, Jamie’s lawyer earlier said, as per The New York Times, ‘That publicity would be highly injurious to the Conservatee’s health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of her minor children.’
However, Britney’s attorney Samuel Ingham said, ‘Britney strongly believes it is consistent not only with her personal best interests but also with good public policy generally that the decision to appoint a new conservator of her estate be made in as open and transparent a manner as possible.’
Jamie is currently paid around $130,000 annually by Britney’s estate, with her fortune estimated at $57.4 million. Back in 2018, the largest expense attached to her estate was more than $1.1 million in legal and conservator fees.
An earlier court filing explained that the conservatorship is ‘voluntary’ and ‘Britney is strongly opposed to James’ return as conservator of her person’.
She’s petitioning for temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery to take over the role, as she ‘strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role’. There’s also a possibility she’d ‘seek termination of this conservatorship in the future’.
While accepting the conservatorship had ‘rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin’ following her troubles in 2008, the filing notes, ‘We are now at a point where the conservatorship must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes.’
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