Britney Spears’ lawyer plans to file a petition to make the singer’s current “care manager” and temporary conservator, Jodi Montgomery, a permanent one, the singer’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, said during a brief court hearing on Wednesday.
Spears’ father Jamie stepped down from his role as the star’s personal conservator in 2019 due to health issues and a professional conservator ‒ Montgomery ‒ temporarily replaced him.
The petition, which will be addressed during an April 27 hearing, will request to have Montgomery appointed to the permanent conservator of Spears’ person.
It remained unclear if the role would also fulfill the needs of her estate. Currently, both Jamie and Bessemer Trust oversee Spears’ estate while Montgomery currently acts as Spears’ “care manager.” Meanwhile, Wednesday’s accounting hearing was set to see the pop superstar’s co-conservators of her estate ‒ Jamie and new party Bessemer Trust ‒ detail Spears’ finances to the court.
However, the hearing was postponed to an April date as the parties work to determine an accurate list of assets and holdings, and where finances were spent.
David Glass, a certified family law attorney and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology ‒ who is not involved in the matter ‒ said that “continuances are pretty standard in accounting hearings” as “both sides are still trying to get the assets and counts worked out.”
Glass also weighed in on Wednesday’s developments surrounding the petition, which he said, could be the first real step to dissolving the collective conservatorship altogether. “One thing interesting was that Samuel Ingham, the court-appointed counsel for Britney, announced he will be filing a petition to have Jodi Montgomery appointed as the conservator of the person,” Glass told Fox News minutes after the hearing concluded. “Right now, the conservators of the estate and the financial matters are Jamie and this Bessemer Trust. And so now he’s asking for this Jodi Montgomery to become the permanent conservator of the person.”
Glass called the potential move a “big step up” for Montgomery, who had stepped into the primary role of conservator in 2019 on a temporary basis.
“That’s the person who is just making personal decisions for medical treatment and whether she needs bodyguards. Does she need to see a therapist? All sorts of everything except money issues for a concerned person,” Glass explained.
“A lot of the hubbub around this has been, ‘How come [Britney] hasn’t asked to have the conservator removed?’ This might be the first step towards that, at least moving to a personal conservator who she thinks will be more friendly to her, more favorable to her.”
Furthermore, according to Glass, the move to essentially promote Montgomery appears to be the most sensible action considering the fact she’s currently Spears’ care manager, a position that is one step below the conservator.
“The care person collects information on the conservative’s health and their medical records and what their doctors say and then summarizes that information and gives it to the conservatory. So, in that sense, it’s a step up for Ms. Montgomery.”
Jamie will have an opportunity to object to the petition to appoint Montgomery as the primary conservator as well, Glass maintained.” Jamie will be required to file any opposition he might have as to why he thinks he should not be removed as the conservator of the person [Britney] and then the court can decide what it needs to do if it needs more information,” Glass said.
“At that point, the court can set an evidentiary trial where people testify or if the court feels it has enough information, it can actually rule at that point,” he continued. “It’s rare that a probate court will rule just based on the papers. They almost always go to some sort of evidentiary objection, evidentiary hearing.”
The continuance of the case Wednesday was requested by Vivian Thoreen, the acting attorney for Jamie. Although she did not provide a reason for the request, both parties agreed to recess until April 27.
Jamie has been the target of the #FreeBritney movement since renewed attention was placed on the singer following the release of the documentary “Framing Britney Spears.” Currently, the conservatorship gives Jamie control of the star’s estate. However, Spears recently began taking legal steps to reclaim agency over her life.