If Britney Spears wants legal assistance with her conservatorship, the ACLU says they’ll help
When it comes to Britney Spears and her current legal situation, matters are complex, to say the least. The singer has been under a conservatorship since 2008, which gives her father, Jamie Spears, sole control over her career and finances, and even, at times, her personal life. Now the singer is requesting a change of power, so to speak, when it comes to who’s in charge of her life. And the ACLU is offering their legal counsel — if she wants it.
This week, Spears asked a California court to remove her dad as the sole conservator of person, and instead replace him with Jodi Montgomery — who has been her conservator of person since late last year, when Jamie Spears began battling serious health issues.
Conservatorships (also known as guardianships) grant a person care over an adult who has been determined “unable to care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances” by a court of law. In 2008, Spears was under mental and emotional duress, was the subject of constant paparazzi harassment, and the state of her mental health received national speculation almost daily. Last year, Spears entered a mental health facility for a temporary stay, citing her father’s ongoing health concerns as the reason.
In recent years, Spears’ fans have campaigned for her to regain her legal rights and the ability to make major life decisions, both personally and financially, under the #FreeBritney movement. Many of them even gathered outside the courthouse this week to show their support for Britney.
And now the ACLU is stepping into the #FreeBritney movement to offer their support.
“People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights,” the ACLU said in a tweet Wednesday. “If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her.”
Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a staff attorney with the ACLU, clarified to Buzzfeed News what they mean by “people with disabilities” as it relates to Spears. “I don’t know what types of disabilities or diagnoses Britney Spears has or doesn’t have, but she’s being perceived by the court as a person with disabilities,” she said. “That’s why there’s a conservatorship.”
According to court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight, the singer no longer wants her father to serve in his longtime role in her life as conservator. “Britney is strongly opposed to James [Jamie Spears] return as the conservator of her person,” the documents read. The court ruled yesterday that Spears’ 12-year conservatorship would remain unchanged through 2021.
It’s important to note that Spears has not commented publicly on the state of her mental health in its current state, nor has she ever publicly or officially discussed the terms of her conservatorship or her personal feelings about it. But should she want assistance with battling it — and under conservatorship, she is unable to hire her own legal counsel without approval — the ACLU, and her fans, are here for her.