Britney Spears Judge Denies Motion to Expedite Hearing About Her Father


A judge overseeing the conservatorship of Britney Spears has denied a request to expedite a forthcoming hearing that will focus on whether to remove or suspend the singer’s father from a role in directing the legal arrangement, as a new lawyer for Ms. Spears recently petitioned.

The ruling by Judge Brenda Penny on Monday in Los Angeles probate court denied the request made last week by Mathew S. Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who was approved in July to replace the court-appointed lawyer who began representing Ms. Spears in 2008.

Mr. Rosengart had called for moving up a Sept. 29 hearing in the case as he seeks to have the singer’s father, James P. Spears, removed as conservator of her estate, a position Mr. Spears has held, sometimes in collaboration with others, for 13 years. Ms. Spears has called the arrangement abusive and exploitative, singling out her father’s control over the conservatorship.

“Every day that passes is another day of avoidable harm and prejudice to Ms. Spears and the Estate,” her lawyer wrote last week, in calling for Mr. Spears’s immediate suspension or a quicker hearing date.

Mr. Rosengart’s request to remove Mr. Spears as conservator of the estate has been supported by Ms. Spears’s medical team, her mother and her current personal conservator, Jodi Montgomery, who say it is in the singer’s best interest, according to court papers.

A lawyer for Mr. Spears, Vivian Lee Thoreen, agreed in a court document filed on Friday to moving the hearing date to as early as Aug. 23. But she opposed the idea that Mr. Spears needed to be quickly removed from his position overseeing her estate, writing that Mr. Spears “dutifully and faithfully served as the conservator of his daughter’s estate without any blemishes on his record.”

Judge Penny’s order on Monday denying Mr. Rosengart’s request did not provide a reason, according to the court document filed, but the application was denied without prejudice, meaning it could be filed again with additional evidence.

Mr. Rosengart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. Lawyers for Mr. Spears declined to comment.

Ms. Spears, 39, has lived under a court-approved conservatorship that closely supervises her life and finances since 2008, when concerns over her mental health and potential substance abuse led the singer’s father to apply for control over her decisions.

But after years of chafing at the life strictures behind the scenes — while continuing to work lucratively as a headlining pop star — Ms. Spears has moved aggressively to alter or end the arrangement since she testified publicly in June, calling for an investigation into her conservators and the ability to hire her own lawyer.

While the singer has said she wishes for the arrangement to be ended outright, Mr. Rosengart, while leaving that option open, has so far pursued what he called “the most pressing issue facing Ms. Spears: removing Mr. Spears as conservator of the estate.”

Liz Day contributed reporting.



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