After having every aspect of her life controlled and managed for nearly 14 years, Britney Spears is now legally a free woman. Less than a month shy of her 40th birthday, Judge Brenda Penny granted the singer’s request to terminate the conservatorship over her person and her estate. The long-awaited decision put Britney back in the driver’s seat of her personal life. “Effective today, the conservatorship of the person and the estate is hereby terminated,” Judge Penny told the courtroom. The next hearing is January 19, 2022.
Penny announced her ruling after a hearing at a Los Angeles County courthouse, where most of the parties involved, including Britney, appeared electronically. The courtroom was packed at capacity with reporters and members of the public on hand to witness the moment. Judge Penny told the courtroom that because Britney’s conservatorship was temporary, there was no need for a capacity declaration in order to terminate. She pointed out that “further, all parties agree.” And with that, she declared, “The court finds that the conservatorship of the person and of the estate is no longer required.”
Outside the courthouse, the streets were filled with members of the #FreeBritney movement dressed in bright pink; many had flown in from different parts of the country to show their support for the singer.
Rosengart said all that was left was some minor housekeeping issues regarding some estate planning and giving attorney John Zabel the power to transfer some property. He told the court there was already a care plan submitted to the court. Rosengart spoke to the media outside the courtroom after the hearing as two helicopters hovered overhead. When asked what was next for Britney, Rosengart said, “What’s next for Britney, and this is the first time this could be said in a decade, is up to one person: Britney.”
Britney had been under the control of the conservatorship put in place on February 1, 2008, when she was just 26 years old. At the time, Britney had been acting erratically, and her parents asked the court to impose the restrictive legal measure on their daughter that basically stripped her of her rights to make any decision about her own personal life and care.
Spears is now free to make her own decisions about her personal life, her daily life, her medical care, where she wants to live or travel, and who she wants to be with.
“She’s restored back to having all of the same rights as an adult,” said Tamar Arminak, an expert conservatorship attorney who represented Amanda Bynes’s partner over obtaining a conservatorship over their daughter.
There was no opposition to Britney’s request. Her court-appointed temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery, a California-licensed professional fiduciary, and her mother Lynne had already told the court that it was their belief that ending the conservatorship was in Britney’s best interest.
Even her 69-year-old father, Jamie, who had been at the helm of the conservatorship until he was suspended from his role in September, and by all accounts, ruling it with an iron fist since its inception, had asked the court for its termination. When asked whether Britney would perform again, Rosengart said, “That would be up to Britney.”