Britney Spears’ mother has begged judges to “listen to the wishes of her daughter” and let her appoint her own attorney.
In court paperwork filed Tuesday (6 July) and dated 1 July, Lynne Spears requested the California courts to allow the singer to choose her own private legal counsel following the explosive resignation of her lawyer of 13 years, Samuel Ingham.
“[Britney’s] capacity is certainly different today than it was in 2008,” her petition to the judge read.
“And conservatee should no longer be held to the 2008 standard, whereby she was found to ‘not have the capacity to retain counsel’.”
At the time, Spears had been hospitalised for involuntary psychiatric evaluation amid rising concerns about her mental health.
As a result, her once-estranged father, Jamie Spears, sought for a conservatorship to govern his daughter’s person and finance – an arrangement she remains in to this day.
More than a decade since, and Lynne has now urged judge Brenda Penny “to listen to the wishes of her daughter, and as a first step” give Britney the power to hire her own attorney.
“It is self-evident that before the court addresses, for example, the termination of the conservatorship,” Lynne’s attorney, Gladstone Jones, continued. “Conservatee must be allowed to consult with counsel of her choosing
“Clearly, conservatee needs private counsel to advise her as to her basic rights in this conservatorship.”
Britney Spears claimed former lawyer never told her she could end the conservatorship
Suspicions were raised over what support Samuel Ingham, an expert on the California probate system, had provided his client when Britney Spears told judges that she was unaware of how to dissolve her conservatorship.
Spears then voiced her wish to hire an attorney of her own.
“I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to be ended,” Britney, 39, said in court. “I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that.”
“My attorney says I can’t – it’s not good, I can’t let the public know anything they did to me.”
“He told me I should keep it to myself, really.”
But on Tuesday, Ingham filed court documents departing from his role as Britney’s lawyer “effective upon the appointment of new court-appointed counsel”.
Ingham was the latest party to resign from Spears’ conservatorship arrangement, one she dubbed “abusive” at a tinderbox court hearing last month.
The company said it was leaving due to “changed circumstances”, adding that it understood that Britney was in the conservatorship voluntarily and consented to the firm’s involvement.
The next court hearing in Spears’ ongoing conservatorship is scheduled for 14 July. It will focus on the Bessemer Trust’s petition to remove itself as a planned co-conservator.