Britney Spears' petition to remove father from conservatorship denied by judge

The ruling is not related to last week's emotional testimony.

June 30, 2021, 11:29 PM

A formal order denying a request by Britney Spears' lawyer to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed from her conservatorship was signed by a judge on Wednesday.

The request was filed in November 2020 when Britney Spears' lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, said that the pop star was afraid of her father and she would not perform again if he was involved in the conservatorship. Wednesday's ruling was only to approve Bessemer Trust as co-conservator, but also rejected the singer's request to remove her father from involvement.

"The conservatee’s request to suspend JAMES P. SPEARS immediately upon the appointment of BESSEMER TRUST COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA, N.A. as sole conservator of estate is denied without prejudice," according to the papers signed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny Wednesday. The judge had made the decision in November, but officially approved Bessemer as co-conservator on Wednesday.

The ruling was signed on Wednesday, just a week after Britney Spears alleged traumatic behavior by her father in explosive testimony, though the timing is not connected. Britney Spears and her lawyers have yet to formally file a request to terminate the conservatorship, as she has promised to do.

Jamie Spears responded to the pop star's explosive court testimony in separate, new court documents Wednesday, calling for an investigation into her claims of mistreatment.

Lawyers for Jamie Spears noted that Jodi Montgomery, who acts as the conservator for Britney Spears' personal affairs, is the one in charge of the singer's mental and physical well-being.

Unlike Montgomery, Jamie Spears "does not speak or meet with Ms. Spears' medical team, and he is not permitted to nor does he have the opportunity to provide any input into his daughter's current medical treatment, diagnosis or therapy," the paperwork reads. "Nor does Mr. Spears participate in or discuss Ms. Spears' personal affairs with her, such as issues related to her self-care, marriage, and reproductive desire."

Due to the allegations Britney Spears made at last week's hearing, attorneys for Jamie Spears, who noted that he does not wish to serve as the conservator of his daughter's person, stated that he's "concerned" about the singer's management and care.

"Based on Ms. Spears' statements to the Court on June 23, 2021, it is unclear whether it is appropriate for Ms. Montgomery to serve in that role or for that matter, whether the continued conservatorship of Ms. Spears' person is appropriate," the court documents state.

However, Lauriann Wright, the attorney for Montgomery, told "Good Morning America" in a statement that her client has been "a tireless advocate for Britney and her well-being."

"If Britney wants any issue brought up to the Court, Ms. Montgomery is and has always been ready, willing, and able to do so," the statement reads. "From the very beginning of her appointment in September 2019, Ms. Montgomery and the medical team that she assembled have had one primary goal – to assist and encourage Britney in her path to no longer needing a conservatorship of the person."

Since 2008, a conservatorship has been in place that prevents Britney Spears, 39, from making any decisions about her personal or financial affairs. At a court hearing last week, the pop star pleaded with a judge to end the conservatorship, claiming that she has been medicated against her will, forced to work, and prevented from getting married or having another child. She also said she wasn't aware that she could petition to end the conservatorship, though she has yet to do so.

"I've lied and told the whole world I'm OK and I'm happy. It's a lie," the singer said. "I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized. I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry it's insane. And I'm depressed. I cry every day."

Wright denied that Montgomery has ever had an impact on Spears' "choice to marry and to start a family." She also stated that Montgomery's tenure as conservator has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially because the pop star lives in Southern California, which had a high infection rate.

"Britney is someone who was at an increased risk of severe illness due to preexisting conditions," the statement reads. " A well-renowned epidemiologist was brought onto the medical team and that doctor’s advice was followed to ensure Britney’s safety from exposure to the virus at all times."

PHOTO: Jamie Spears leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse, March 10, 2008. Britney Spears attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere, July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.
Jamie Spears leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse, March 10, 2008. Britney Spears attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere, July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, Calif.
AFP/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Attorneys for Jamie Spears, who currently serves as co-conservator of his daughter's estate, stated that when he was the conservator of her person, he "did everything in his power to support and care for Ms. Spears' well-being and her personal decisions." To that end, they noted that Britney Spears became engaged to Jason Trawick in 2011. Though the singer and Trawick split in 2013 without marrying, Trawick served as a co-conservator of the person, along with Jamie Spears, from 2012-2013. Jamie Spears stepped down as conservator of Britney Spears' personal affairs in 2019.

"Mr. Spears has dutifully served in various conservator roles for over thirteen years on behalf of his daughter, whom he loves unconditionally," the paperwork states.

Although Jamie Spears is not in control of his daughter's personal life, he must approve the expenditure of new services or an increase in existing services, Wright stated. He does not always do so.

Wright concluded that Montgomery plans to presenting a "comprehensive care plan" to the court, which should "[set] forth a path for termination of the conservatorship."

"While it is Ms. Montgomery’s professional duty to be Britney’s protector and advocate, honoring her wishes and seeing to her best interests while Britney is under conservatorship, it is her sincere personal wish that Britney continues to make meaningful progress in her well-being so that her conservatorship of the person can be terminated," Wright's statement reads.

Related Topics