Court: Britney's Dad Stays in Control – for Now
The court also rules that the hospitalized singer can have no contact with pal Sam Lutfi
Britney Spears‘s father and a lawyer will remain in control of the singer’s affairs, including her $40 million fortune, a court ruled Monday.
Jamie Spears will remain co-conservator of his daughter’s estate until Feb. 14, a commissioner ruled, despite a lawyer’s claims Britney Spears had a “strong desire” against her father’s temporary supervision.
The decision came in a hearing in which attorney Adam Streisand, who asserted he was hired by Britney Spears, argued that Jamie Spears’s conservatorship “would only cause further distress, agitation and estrangement.”
In addition, Streisand argued that co-temporary conservator Andrew Wallet “simply doesn’t have the knowledge” to manage Spears’s vast estate, he said in court. It was Streisand who valued the estate at $40 million.
Streisand, said to be a second cousin of singer Barbra Streisand, instead suggested that Northern Trust Bank be named as the temporary guardian of Spears’s wealth.
But following the hearing, Commissioner Reva Goetz ruled that Jamie Spears and Wallet would remain co-conservators, a court spokesman said.
“The commissioner felt Mr. Streisand had no standing to represent Ms. Spears,” the spokesman added.
Lawyers for Jamie Spears began the session with an opening statement asserting that the father had no interest in taking her wealth, but rather watching over it until his daughter recovers, with the eventual hope that she will be reunited with her children.
Wallet vehemently argued that the court be shown proof that Britney Spears was of sound mind to hire Streisand.
Jamie Spears, wearing a navy suit, was present in the courtroom, looked solemn, but did not speak.
Spears ‘Lacks the Capacity’ to Hire a Lawyer
A court-appointed lawyer for Britney Spears, Samuel Ingham, was also present, and testified that he met with her at the hospital Sunday for 15 minutes.
He added that in his opinion the pop star “does not understand the nature of these proceedings” or their impact on her future. He added, “I think she lacks the capacity” to hire a private lawyer.
It was also revealed by Jamie Spears’s attorneys that despite a restraining order issued Friday, Britney pal Sam Lutfi had spoken to her on the telephone Sunday .
The father’s lawyers expressed difficulty in subpoenaing Lutfi with the order, saying he would not answer the door when a person recently came to serve him.
By the hearing’s end, the court ordered Spears to have no contact, direct or indirect, by phone, email, text message or any other means with Lutfi, a court spokesman said, and an attempt to serve Lutfi with a revised restraining order would occur.
In addition, a court-ordered physician will evaluate the singer’s “competence to make her own decisions” and to report his findings on Feb. 13.