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NY Times : Testing Britney Spears: Restoring Rights Can Be Rare and Difficult


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17 minutes ago, ICouldntThinkOfOne said:

Conservatorship can end without evaluations if no contest it. This is why pushing Jamie out is crucial. Jamie is the cornerstone of this; if he goes, everyone else can be removed. Managers, businesses etc.

KFed won't kick up a fuss if Jamie goes because he'll out himself as involved or having knowledge of the situation ie. Threatening forensic investigations if he didn't get an increase.

Ultimately, Rosengart needs to make sure he has enough information to make Jamie jump ship fast.

Absolutely agreed on this, Jamie needs to back off which he's not doing they are just dragging the matter now. 

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1 minute ago, frederiickx said:

We've had several lawyers who know Rosengart say that he has won harder cases than Britney's case, so don't lose hope.

Of course, I am very helpful but what I sense is if Jamie doesn't back off which I feel he won't Britney needs to go under an evaluation without it she won't get out though now she has a new lawyer things might change, let's keep fighting.

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Just now, Prachi said:

Of course, I am very helpful but what I sense is if Jamie doesn't back off which I feel he won't Britney needs to go under an evaluation without it she won't get out though now she has a new lawyer things might change, let's keep fighting.

Exactly. IF she needs to get an evaluation because of the Judge, I hope Britney/Rosengart get to pick the doctors. NOT Jamie or anyone involved in the corrupt c-ship.

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2 hours ago, DougFrmBrazil said:

So are we being prepared to have a Britney not 100% free? This is human rights abuse.

This is not what the article is suggesting, how she got into it in the first place though her performing and recording won't prove her mental capacity - this new lawyer will do everything in my belief to first remove Jamie and then end this. After Jamie being removed, things will be at a much positive side. 

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This sort of article really worries me- it makes it seem like the chances of getting out of the con are stacked against her.

It’s none of my business but I would love to know what they pinned on her back in ‘07. What medical info they keep sealed. I know she was in a bad state, and potentially wasn’t in a safe place for herself and her kids, but what is so severe that it could continue to impact her now. BPD or schizo isn’t a life sentence anymore- I have a family member with both and yes life is hard but it’s not unliveable- she has a good job and family.

I really agree with Britney when she says she thinks the con has actually GIVEN her disorders which is sick to the extreme. Yes she has moments of clarity but especially since FFT she has become more juvenile in her speech, less articulate and eloquent, not caring about her appearance in public etc as much, her anxiety (nail biting and psoriasis etc) flares up and her team really guides her through things like Xfactor or the scene in Jane the virgin where she’s literally reading off a sheet. Even a lot of celebs have said that her behaviour seems off at times. You can kinda see it onstage too- people argue that because she’s on tour she has capacity- but there are loads of examples of her missing choreo, developing tics, being lead around the stage etc a number one complaint fans have had for years is how her shows are sorta built to hide her rather than highlight her. 

Basically what I’m rambling into is the control, abuse and manipulation from the con has actually really badly impacted her to the point where she might actually struggle to pass a traditional evaluation and that is so ****ed.

 

Yes there have been some great moments (POM 2.0, some of the interviews around that time, the lingerie launch interviews etc) but the most lucid and confident I can think of Britney since the con is in For the Record- shouldn’t the con have been HELPING her confidence all these years not hurting it. 

Blah ramble over.

 

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3 hours ago, Arthurfleck said:

Stupid article. She might not be in a perfect state of mind but she should be freed anyway. If she want to burn in flames her $ 60 million, its HER money and HER life and it would be better than spendind in Jamie’s lawyers and Juno’s condos.

remember we live in a world where kanye west and shia labeouf run free whereas our girl is trapped.

What you are stating is correct but this is not how a legal system works, NY Times is giving you reality and how hard it is to get out in this first place, hope Mathew sheds some positivity here. 

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3 minutes ago, frederiickx said:

Rosengart is not going to keep this going for years. He will win this and soon, I predict. She will get out soon.

I hope so, but in the last hearing Jamie's lawyers wanted to contest Britney's claims. They know they're going to lose but they want to drag this for as long as they can so that they get paid and Jamie doesn't mind spending Britney's money in order to do that.

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1 minute ago, Body ache said:

I hope so, but in the last hearing Jamie's lawyers wanted to contest Britney's claims. They know they're going to lose but they want to drag this for as long as they can so that they get paid and Jamie doesn't mind spending Britney's money in order to do that.

I fear if this goes out too long Britney will be bankrupt like this - I absolutely wonder where the heck is all of her money? 

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Just now, thebritmaster said:

It’s up to Rosengart to make sure they pick unbiased medical professionals to do the evaluations  :nysassy_miss_ny_ms_new_york_tiffany_pollard_cigarette_smoke_nod:

Yes, without a medical evaluation I don't know what she will do - Britney is perfectly fit and I see a lot of positivity from this article as well but in totality it truly depends upon the judge. 

Mathew will be putting in a heck of a fight, he's an excellent judge. 

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Rosengart should focus not to end It but to make it void, he better prove It was not needed in the first place.

Britney has clearly not deteriorated her "capacity of intelligence" in 13 years, so whatever she has, could have been cured with a therapy without removing her basic rights as a human being....

 

 

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4 hours ago, Prachi said:

Article link : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/23/health/britney-spears-conservatorship.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

Her voice quaking with anger and despair, the pop star Britney Spears has asked repeatedly in court to be freed from the conservatorship that has controlled her money and personal life for 13 years. What’s more, she asked the judge to sever the arrangement without making her undergo a psychological evaluation.

It’s a demand that legal experts say is unlikely to be granted. The mental health assessment is usually the pole star in a constellation of evidence that a judge considers in deciding whether to restore independence. 

Its underlying purpose is to determine whether the conditions that led to the imposition of the conservatorship have stabilized or been resolved.

The evaluation process, which uneasily melds mental health criteria with legal standards, illustrates why the exit from strict oversight is difficult and rare. State laws are often ambiguous. And their application can vary from county to county, judge to judge, case to case.

Isn’t Ms. Spears’s artistic and financial success proof she is self-sufficient?

Yes and no. A judge looks for what, in law, is called “capacity.” The term generally refers to benchmarks in a person’s functional and cognitive ability as well as their vulnerability to harm or coercion.

Under California law, which governs Ms. Spears’s case, a person deemed to have capacity can articulate risks and benefits in making decisions about medical care, wills, marriage and contracts (such as hiring a lawyer), and can feed, clothe and shelter themselves.

Annette Swain, a Los Angeles psychologist who does neuropsychological assessments, said that because someone doesn’t always show good judgment, it doesn’t mean they lack capacity. “We all can make bad decisions at many points in our lives,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that we should have our rights taken away.”

Even so, Ms. Spears’s professional and financial successes do not directly speak to whether she has regained “legal mental capacity,” which she was found to lack in 2008, after a series of public breakdowns, breathlessly captured by the media. At that time, a judge ruled that Ms. Spears, who did not appear in court, was so fragile that a conservatorship was warranted.

Judges authorize conservatorships usually for one of three broad categories: a severe psychiatric breakdown; a chronic, worsening condition like dementia; or an intellectual or physical disability that critically impairs function.

Markers indicating a person has regained capacity appear to set a low bar. But in practice, the bar can be quite high.

“‘Restored to capacity’ before the psychotic break? Or the age the person is now? That expression is fraught with importing value judgment,” said Robert Dinerstein, a disability rights law professor at American University.

Records detailing grounds for the petition from Ms. Spears’s father, Jamie Spears, to become his daughter’s conservator are sealed. A few factors suggest the judge at the outset regarded the situation as serious. She appointed conservators to oversee Ms. Spears’s personal life as well as finances. She also ruled that Ms. Spears could not hire her own lawyer, though a lawyer the singer consulted at the time said he thought she was capable of that.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said Ms. Spears could retain her own counsel.

Does “capacity” differ among states?

Yes. Some states, like California, detail basic functional abilities. Others do not. Colorado acknowledges modern advances like “appropriate and reasonably available technological assistance.” Illinois looks for “mental deterioration, physical incapacity, mental illness, developmental disability, gambling, idleness, debauchery, excessive use of intoxicants or drugs.”

Sally Hurme of the National Guardianship Association noted: “You could be found to be incapacitated in one state but not in another.”

Who performs the psychological assessment?

Ideally, a forensic psychiatrist or a psychologist with expertise in neuropsychological assessments. But some states just specify “physician.” Psychiatrists tend to place greater weight on diagnoses; psychologists emphasize tests that measure cognitive abilities. Each reviews medical records and interviews family, friends and others.

Assessments can extend over several days. They range widely in depth and duration.

Eric Freitag, who conducts neuropsychological assessments in the Bay Area, said he prefers interviewing people at home where they are often more at ease, and where he can evaluate the environment. He asks about financial literacy: bill-paying, health insurance, even counting out change.

Assessing safety is key. Dr. Freitag will ask what the person would do if a fire broke out. “I’d call my daughter,” one of his subjects replied.

Who chooses the evaluator?

Ms. Spears has not been able to choose her evaluators in the past because the conservator has the power to make those decisions. However, if she moves to dissolve the conservatorship, she can select the evaluator, to help build her case. If the conservator, her father, opposes her petition and objects to her selection, he could nominate a candidate to perform an additional assessment. Ms. Spears would likely pick up both tabs as costs of the conservatorship.

To avoid a bitter battle of experts and the appearance that an assessor hired by either camp would be inherently biased — plus the strain of two evaluations on Ms. Spears — the judge could try to get both sides to agree to an independent, court-appointed doctor.

What impact does a mental health diagnosis have on an evaluation?

Many states explicitly say that a diagnosis of a severe mental health disorder is not, on its own, evidence that a person should remain in conservatorship.

Stuart Zimring, an attorney in Los Angeles County who specializes in elderlaw and special needs trusts, noted that he once represented a physician with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who was under a conservatorship. The doctor’s rights were eventually restored after he proved he was attending counseling sessions and taking medication.

“It was a joyous day when the conservatorship was terminated,” said Mr. Zimring. “He got to practice medicine again, under supervision.”

The association between the diagnosis of a severe mental disorder and a determination of incapacity troubles Dr. Swain, the Los Angeles psychologist.

“Whatever they ended up diagnosing Britney Spears with, was it of such severity that she did not understand the decisions that she had to make, that she could not provide adequate self-care?” she asked. “Where do you draw that line? It’s a moving target.”

Does the judge have to accept an evaluator’s findings?

No, but judges usually do.

What standard does a probate judge apply to reach a decision?

In most states, when a judge approves a conservatorship, which constrains a person’s autonomy, the evidence has to be “clear and convincing,” a rigorous standard just below the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But when a conservatee wants those rights restored, many experts believe the standard should be more lenient.

Some states indeed apply a lower standard to end a conservatorship. In California, a judge can do so by finding it is more likely than not (“preponderance of evidence”) that the conservatee has capacity. But some states say that the evidence to earn a ticket out still has to be “clear and convincing.”

Most states do not even set a standard.

“There’s an underlying assumption that if you can get the process right, everything would be fine and we wouldn’t be depriving people of rights,” said Jennifer Mathis, deputy legal director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “Our take is that the process is fundamentally broken and that we shouldn’t be using guardianship in so many cases.”

If someone is doing well, isn’t the conservatorship no longer necessary?

Yes and no. “Judges are haunted by people they have had in front of them who have been released and disaster happens,” said Victoria Haneman, a trusts and estates law professor at Creighton University. “So they take a conservative approach to freedom.”

Describing the Kafkaesque conundrum of conservatorship, Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a disabilities rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “If she’s doing great, the system is working and should continue. If she is making choices others disagree with, then she’s unreliable and she needs the system.”

Or, as Kristin Booth Glen, a former New York State judge who oversaw such cases and now works to reform the system, put it, “Conservatorship and guardianship are like roach motels: you can check in but you can’t check out.”

Can an evaluator recommend a less restrictive approach than a conservatorship?

At times. Judge Glen once approved the termination of a guardianship of a young woman originally deemed to have the mental acuity of a 7-year-old. After three years of thoughtful interventions, the woman, since married and raising two children, had become able to participate fully in her life. She relied on a team for “supported decision making,” which Judge Glen called “a less restrictive alternate to the Draconian loss of liberty” of guardianship.

A supported decision-making approach has been hailed by the Uniform Law Commission, which drafts model statutes. It has said judges should seek “the least restrictive alternative” to conservatorship.

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So, I think at some time Britney will be released from all that situation BUT it might be that Judge Penny chooses an alternative measure such as the text said... Also, I believe that it will help the fact that Britney is famous and we all love her, and there are people out there that have a voice that can help her! Again - BUT - at the same time I think anyone should be respected at their civil rights... 

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So fascinating. Being a psychologist, I always thought Britney received a neuropsych assessment. I didn’t realize she could have had a psychiatric evaluation, which as a psychologist, I know they don't have the same clinical background training to accurately measure underlying intellectual and psychological issues. I can see that being easily fabricated cause treatment recommendations are usually based on collateral information (meaning, information gathered from family, business associates, and friends that can make up anything if they wanted).

Either way, hire me Britney. I have no qualms breaking my ethical guidelines to get you free. After all… they are only a guideline :bieber_justin_smirk_weird:

jk i probably don’t even need to fabricate anything.

Just saying. :taylor_swift_evil_smile: :goat_monster_devil_dance_dancing_makeup_brush:

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The fact that she kept harping on not wanting an evaluation more than likely raised a lot of red flags. Her lawyer should’ve advised her against saying it. What she should’ve said is she is willing to do the evaluation with a doctor of her choice that she’s comfortable with. There is some kind of  underlying serious condition in her file and there’s no way around it. My assumption is that whoever has evaluated her in the past deemed her as a threat to herself or someone else. I just hope a new doctor can come in and do the evaluation on her terms. There’s no way she will be released from this without one. 

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42 minutes ago, Rafael Fita said:

So, I think at some time Britney will be released from all that situation BUT it might be that Judge Penny chooses an alternative measure such as the text said... Also, I believe that it will help the fact that Britney is famous and we all love her, and there are people out there that have a voice that can help her! Again - BUT - at the same time I think anyone should be respected at their civil rights... 

I believe it's much more complicated that that, she can perform and record music but still not deemed to be fit to live a free life this shows loopholes in the system, it doesn't matter if we love or her she is famous - she needs to be proven she's alright and before than Jamie either need to back off or Mathew needs to put him off!

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“Or, as Kristin Booth Glen, a former New York State judge who oversaw such cases and now works to reform the system, put it, “Conservatorship and guardianship are like roach motels: you can check in but you can’t check out.”

oy vey

This is real life slavery. How is her “team” able to sleep at night?  

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2 hours ago, PZHSB said:

The fact that she kept harping on not wanting an evaluation more than likely raised a lot of red flags. Her lawyer should’ve advised her against saying it. What she should’ve said is she is willing to do the evaluation with a doctor of her choice that she’s comfortable with. There is some kind of  underlying serious condition in her file and there’s no way around it. My assumption is that whoever has evaluated her in the past deemed her as a threat to herself or someone else. I just hope a new doctor can come in and do the evaluation on her terms. There’s no way she will be released from this without one. 

I thought this as well. I suppose though that from her perspective, an evaluation is a multiple month stay in a mental health facility against her will. If it was a series of conversations in her own home, as the article mentioned, perhaps she would be more amenable?

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