Los Angeles Judge Brenda Penny ruled after a sealed hearing on Thursday (Aug. 19) to extend Britney Spears conservatorship till Feb. 1, 2021.
The virtual hearing was attended by Spears’ court appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham, her father James Spears, Lynn Spears, and their respective attorneys. In addition, Spears current temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery.
Penny also made some findings and orders under seal. In the interim she set a time table for Britney’s attorney to file a petition by Sept. 18 and to have it set for a hearing in her court on Oct. 14th. Any objections in the case are to be filed by Oct. 2, according to Penny.
The hearing came two days after Ingham filed a court paper on the singer’s behalf declaring that she does not want her father to serve as her conservator. In his motion to the court, filed on Aug. 17, Ingham said Spears’ needs and wishes have changed since the conservatorship was placed over her in 2008.
Initially, he said the “conservators rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin,” according to the motion submitted to the court. Ingham described the first phase of her conservatorship as a “triage” to save her, but he says since then her life and needs have changed. Ingham says he believes that the changes being requested now by Britney are in her best interest.
He describes Britney second phase of her conservatorship, that ran until her Las Vegas residency ended on December 31, 2017 and her last live tour performance occurred on October 21 , 2018, as her performing period. During that time, Spears needed the assistance of a personal manager, a business manager and as well as many other individuals. Yet, now, Ingham says Spears in a new phase with different needs and wishes and she has no desire to perform.
“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,” writes Ingham in the motion.
Spears also, he says, strongly prefers to have her current conservator Jodi Montgomery continue to serve as her temporary conservator instead of her father James Spears. Montgomery took over after Britney’s father asked the court last fall for permission to temporarily step down. She asked the court to make Montgomery’s appointment permanent.
In addition, Ingham said that Britney is “strongly opposed” to her father continuing as the sole conservator of her estate. Instead, she strongly prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role, according to Ingham. Britney also says she is making these requests now, but is by no means “ waiving her right to seek termination of this conservatorship in the future.”
Ingham said he expected Jamie to “aggressively contest” Britney’s wishes. The popstar, though, appears ready for the fight.
“Britney herself has expressed to me a desire that we associate an attorney or law firm with substantial expertise in handling contested litigation in a highly complex case such as this one through trial,” Ingham wrote in the motion.
For now though things will appear to remain as status quo.