The #FreeBritney movement has grown wider over the last couple of years as more people call for the singer to be freed from her conservatorship. However, in late June, a judge once again denied Spears’ request for the conservatorship to be terminated. What happens next, and what are the star’s options?
Conservatorships of the Person and Estate
Conservatorships appoint one or multiple individuals or entities to manage the affairs of a person deemed unfit to handle their own medical, legal, or financial affairs. Conservatorships are divided into two main types: Conservatorship of the Person, and Conservatorship of the Estate. Each gives the conservator power over the conservatee’s financial and medical affairs, respectively.
Spears was initially placed under conservatorship in 2008 after a series of public incidents and breakdowns. Spears has been a conservatee ever since. This is unusual given that most conservatorships either are temporary or are long-term arrangements when the conservatee has a serious condition like dementia or a similarly severe medical problem.
Who is in Charge of the Conservatorship?
Britney Spears’ father, James "Jamie" Spears, has been one of the singer’s leading conservators since 2008. Other than a brief span of time in 20019 when he was temporarily the sole executor of the star’s estate, the elder Spears has shared his role as Conservator of the Estate with various others.
In a recent testimony, Britney Spears informed the court that she considered her conservatorship to be abusive and that she would prefer a professional entity to be appointed conservator rather than her father. Bessemer Trust filed documents on July 1, 2021, to be removed from its appointment as Spears’ co-conservator.
A judge recently rejected Spears’ petition to remove her father from his position. Jodi Montgomery is Spears’ Conservator of the Person, meaning she holds the main authority over Spears’ medical treatments and other related decisions, including the controversial decision to deny Spears the opportunity to have more children by disallowing her from having her birth control device removed.
How Can We #FreeBritney?
Spears has made several attempts over the years to have her conservatorship terminated, but none have succeeded. Luckily, since most conservatorships are intended to be short-term arrangements, each year in court the conservator must demonstrate to a judge that the conservatorship is still necessary.
In order for Britney to be granted control of her own life again, she will likely need to undergo evaluation and demonstrate in court that she is responsible and qualified to handle her own affairs without the aid of conservatorship. The most likely way for the conservatorship to elapse is over time, with proof in court. Though it’s not a satisfying answer for Britney fans seeking justice for the star, many more chances will come for the #FreeBritney movement to finally come to fruition.
- Britney Spears: Why She Lost Visitation Rights, And What Her Case Teaches Us About Family Law (FindLaw’s U.S. Supreme Court Center)
- Judge: Britney Spears Conservatorship to Remain in Effect (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
- #FreeBritney? Celeb May Be Under Conservatorship for a Reason (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
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