Britney Spears told the world she wants to end the conservatorship that has controlled her life for the last 13 years but she faces a long legal battle for her freedom.
During a hearing at a court in Los Angeles this week, the pop superstar rallied against the order which put her dad Jamie in charge of almost every aspect of her life.
In her harrowing speech, she claimed she’d been imprisoned against her will, forced to take medication that made her feel “drunk” and even compared her situation to sex trafficking.
She made it clear to Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny she wants to petition to end the conservatorship, but it looks like fight to free Britney is only just beginning.
Here we take a look at the next steps Britney will have to take as she seeks to dissolve the conservatorship.
It’s believed that once Britney files a petition to end the conservatorship, she will then have a date set for another court hearing and a potentially a trial.
UsWeekly reports she’s likely to be granted a termination hearing, which the site describes as “like a mini trial” in which both sides can present evidence.
Los Angeles-based attorney Mina Sirkin told the site Britney will have to provide evidence to show she’s “regained her capacity” while the conservators, dad Jamie Spears and Jodi Montgomery, can also present evidence and witnesses.
The lawyer explained Britney has the right to ask for a jury trial so a panel of her peers can decide her fate.
However, Sirkin pointed out most termination hearings take place in front of a single judge instead of a jury but no one will know what Britney decides until she files paperwork for her petition.
Family law attorney David A. Esquibias – who previously represented Amanda Bynes – told People magazine there will also be evidence gathered by a probate investigator which will be put before the judge before they make a decision.
He explained: “A judge is obligated to take in all the evidence, and in a conservatorship setting the evidence typically includes the confidential written report of the probate investigator who is usually a licensed social worker who interviews the conservatee and all family members to the second degree.
“Based on those interviews, the investigator comes to a conclusion and writes a recommendation to the judge.
“The judge takes in that piece of evidence and listens to the testimony of the conservator, the conservatee and to any relative to the second degree, and frankly, anyone else the judge wants to listen to. After taking in all the evidence, the judge is equipped to make a decision.
Sirkin added to UsWeekly Britney’s testimony this week will not have an impact on proceedings going forward, but she might get the chance to tell her story in court once again.
She could also be questioned by attorneys representing the conservatorship.
During her testimony this week, Britney insisted she wanted to move forward with a petition for ending the conservatorship without having to undergo any further psychiatric evaluations.
However, this could make it hard for the star to prove she’s capable of taking back control of her own life.
Jan Costello, professor at Loyola Law School, told Us Weekly: “Without a new evaluation, the judge would have to take into consideration the last evaluation she had.
“If she refuses to be reevaluated, the judge may say, ‘Well, but I have no new information then as a basis for changing the conservatorship.'”
Whatever the outcome of the termination hearing, it’s believed the conservators will still have the power to fight back.
According to Sirkin, they can fight the verdict and they could even potentially go back to the drawing board and file a petition to install a new conservatorship.
While it looks like Britney is moving forward with her bid for freedom, it looks like the singer still has a long way to go and the fight of her life is going to be right around the corner.