Spears' father retained as conservator - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Spears' father retained as conservator

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Posted: Monday, February 4, 2008 9:05 pm | Updated: 10:03 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

LOS ANGELES - A court commissioner on Monday extended the temporary conservatorship of Britney Spears to her father and an attorney until Feb. 14 and appointed a physician to evaluate her competence to make decisions.

The hearing came three days after her father, James Spears, and her attorney, Andrew Wallet, were granted temporary conservatorship after Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz ruled that Spears needed someone to take over her personal and financial affairs.

Goetz's decision might not sit well with Spears, who remains in a hospital psychiatric ward undergoing a medical evaluation. Adam Streisand, who sought to enter the case as Spears' lawyer, said in court that the pop star told him her dad shouldn't be named the conservator of her and her estate.

"She has expressed to me very strongly that her father not be the conservator," Streisand said. "There has been an estrangement for quite some time. With him as conservator, that is causing her more agitation and more distress."

Despite Streisand's pleas, Goetz denied his request to represent Spears.

In addition, Goetz ordered Spears to have no contact whatsoever with her friend and sometime manager Sam Lutfi, specifying that she can't reach him by phone, text message or by any other means. Goetz also extended a restraining order against Lutfi.

The restraining order has not been served on Lutfi, court spokesman Allan Parachini said, declining to elaborate.

A court-appointed attorney also weighed in on the Spears case. Samuel Ingham said he interviewed Spears on Sunday at UCLA Medical Center, determining that she didn't understand the court proceedings, and that "she lacks the capacity to retain counsel."

Streisand argued that Spears hadn't been given any notice of Ingham's plan to interview her, saying Ingham appeared at the hospital unannounced.

Vivian Thoreen, attorney for Spears' father, said her client should continue to be conservator because "his daughter is in great distress."

"He's not here to take over her assets," Thoreen said. "He's here to get her medical help. He's here to take over while she's healing."

Spears was originally to be released Sunday after a 72-hour mental evaluation. But doctors and a ward medical officer cited California law to keep her for two weeks, said a person close to the pop star who requested anonymity.

The state law allows patients to be kept for medical treatment if they are found to be gravely disabled or a danger to themselves or others.

Streisand also told Goetz that the Spears estate has assets totaling $40 million and that one of her entities is being audited by the IRS.

Earlier Monday, a child custody hearing was held but continued because of Spears' condition.

Lawyers for Spears, her ex-husband Kevin Federline and her conservators met behind closed doors. The hearing was to deal with efforts by Spears' legal team to withdraw from the case, but the lawyers abandoned that effort last week.

Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon barred Spears from contact with her two small children after she refused last month to relinquish the children to representatives of Federline after a court-sanctioned visit.

On that occasion, she was also taken to a hospital for psychiatric observation but quickly released.

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