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Published On: January 20, 2022 04:30 PM NPT By: Associated Press

Spears case drives California bid to limit conservatorships

Spears case drives California bid to limit conservatorships


Disability rights activists and advocates for Britney Spears backed a California proposal Wednesday to provide more protections for those under court-ordered conservatorships, while promoting less-restrictive alternatives.

Their move came as the volatile Spears case again boiled over in a Los Angeles County courtroom. The hearing to settle lingering issues in the aftermath of Spears’ conservatorship, which was terminated in November, quickly descended into a series of angry accusations between attorneys for Spears and her father, and the case appears headed for a long trial to determine the truth of allegations of misconduct against him.

The case is Exhibit #1 for groups including Disability Voices United, Disability Rights California, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and Free Britney L.A. who say that what are known as probate conservatorships are overused and misused in California.

They most often involve people with developmental or intellectual disabilities or those with age-related issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s.

But the advocacy groups contend that conservatees like Spears can become trapped in a system that removes their civil rights and the ability to advocate for themselves.

The Professional Fiduciary Association of California, which represents many of those appointed as conservators, did not immediately comment but said answers to many questions about the process can be found at https://californiaconservatorshipfacts.com

“Conservatorships should be rare, and the last resort,” said Judy Mark, president of Disability Voices United, a Southern California advocacy group. “The default should be that people with disabilities retain their rights and get support when they need it.”

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