Now he has control on her checkbook and womb. You can buy a house Marry the Versace dress she shared on her Instagram, decide when to work or not.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny and the pop star high profile, nearly 14 years conservatory, Britney Spears can sue her family. And there are signs that it can.
But perhaps more than anything, public pains drew attention how a legal tool designed to protect vulnerable people can help as well as harm.
“Britney’s case has raised a number of open issues that will impact and impact conservatorship cases for years to come,” said Christopher Melcher, a prominent member of Katie Holmes’ divorce legal team and a prominent family and probate law expert.
“This case highlighted the lack of due process for an adult custodian,” Melcher said. Said. “Britney didn’t even know about it. The first hearing lasted 10 minutes and no statement was taken. This was a case that resulted in her being banned from removing her IUD, accessing her cell phone, and being banned from remarrying.”
Melcher, who is also Kanye West’s divorce attorney, said the process was aimed at the most severely disabled, with Spears performing nearly 250 performances during her 13-year conservatory period.
“It also emphasized the power of the people,” he said. “None of this would have changed without the Free Britney movement. She shed light on these top secret transactions.”
Spears’ struggle for personal freedom fascinated the country for months.
“This is a monumental day for Britney Spears,” her lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, said as the trial concluded on Friday afternoon. “Many people have asked if we should continue to investigate Mr. [Jamie] Spears. The answer is ultimately up to my client, Britney.”
This was a point Rosengart made repeatedly while speaking to reporters on Friday, outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, when the star was surrounded by cheering fans: “What’s next for Britney – and this is the first time in nearly a decade that it can be said.” — it’s up to one person, Britney.”
Cardozo Law School professor Leslie Salzman, who has extensively studied conservatories and ancient law, said it remains to be seen whether Britney’s case will make a long-term change to the conservatory. But this case has raised awareness of the fundamental issues with this approach.”
Spears’ case is unique, Salzman said, because “he was making millions of dollars out there.” But when other, less restrictive protections were available, it took too long and was too restrictive, he said. It also showed how little incentive there was to end the conservatism of those with substantial assets.
“People have learned that a court can take control of the most fundamental parts of a person’s life with very little scrutiny,” Salzman said. “It’s a system that can topple people, especially when they can’t choose their own lawyers.”
In fact, Spears was not allowed to hire his own attorney under conservatory terms that began in 2008. Her father, with whom she had a rocky relationship, was given control of her life. At a hearing in June, she said she had never been told she could petition to end legislation.
Legal experts point to two factors that pushed Penny to do what many of Spears’ fans have been demanding for years: Free Britney.
The first took place during a hearing in June, where he addressed the court by telephone and described the torture he had experienced. He said that removal of the intrauterine device was not allowed; she wanted to have a baby and she was told no. He said he was forced to work strenuous hours and was drugged when he disobeyed.
“Okay, I’m not happy,” Spears told Penny. “I am so angry, this is insane and I am depressed. I cry every day.” Instead of protecting him, he said the only thing the state of California can do is hire people who use their money to make his life difficult.
The second factor was Penny’s decision in July to let Spears hire her own attorney.
“This was the critical moment,” said Andrew Mayoras, a lawyer and author who followed Spears’ case. “One of the most fundamental, most important rights of a conservative is the right to have his own lawyer. This right was denied years ago. I think it scared him. You saw that everything changed dramatically after Mathew Rosengart was brought in.”
In October, Rosengart sought the abdication of Spears’ father and sought a series of expeditions, including all documents showing that the singer was “electronic surveillance” while under her father’s authority, according to a 110-page court file.
Exhibits attached to Rosengart’s files reveal what has happened since the September 29 hearing when Jamie Spears was sacked as her daughter’s guardian. On October 1, Rosengart requested documents and communications regarding “electronic surveillance, tracking, cloning, or recording of activity of Britney Jean Spears’ personal phone.”
So the Spears family saga is by no means over. But for the 39-year-old star and her lawyer, Friday was a day to celebrate.
“I’m proud of him because he not only shed light on this conservatory, he also shined a light on conservators from California to New York,” Rosengart said. “If this happened to Britney, it could happen to anyone.”
Spears did not attend Friday’s hearing in person or by phone. But he called it “the best day ever” on Instagram.
And he summed it up with one hashtag: #FreedBritney.