Two very compelling issues in the Britney Spears California conservatorship case deserve attention.
It is important for the public to be aware and to make sure that you or your loved one does everyone you/she/they can avoid this from happening. If it does, you really need a strong advocate.
The first is that she was precluded from hiring her own counsel. Instead, the court disallowed her choice of Attorney Adam Streisand (Yes, Barbara Streisand’s son). Instead she was forced to accept a court appointed counsel (CAC) who, despite what his client wanted, was instrumental in keeping Ms. Spears from hiring Mr. Streisand.
Because the CAC makes money representing Ms. Spears (or any proposed conservatee) that is a serious conflict of interest. In every California conservatorship case, a proposed conservatee (someone who is the subject of the action like Ms. Spears), must get personally served with a “citation.” This is like a summons and complaint. It serves to ensure that the person whose civil rights will be impacted has due process.
What is due process? It is, among other things, the right to counsel to defend yourself against allegations. In fact, on the citation, paragraph 6, it literally says :
“You have the right to appear at the petition and oppose the hearing. You have the right to hire an attorney of your choice to represent you. The court will appoint an attorney for you If you are unable to retain one.“ (emphasis added.)
Next, this CAC, her supposed advocate, agreed that she should not be allowed to have copies of certain documents filed on her behalf and filed by her father, who initiated this conservatorship.
Imagine that. Your attorney, who you did not hire, who gets paid from your account by court order, does not have to share documents with you? If I did that or any of my colleagues did that in a conservatorship case in California, we would be disbarred.
This CAC can and does bill Ms. Spears thousands of dollars every month. She does not want to be in a conservatorship (and does not want her father involved), and it was only when the public began to take notice and apply media pressure that the court appointed counsel woke up and began to advocate for her freedom.
This started out as a temporary conservatorship. Perhaps, and I do not profess to know, there was an emergency (see my blog on California Conservatorships) but we all know that Ms. Spears has been working tirelessly and certainly the exigent circumstances have seen better days as must this conservatorship.