An attorney for Britney Spears says his client fears her father and will not resume her career so long as he has power over it.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny declined to suspend James Spears from his central role in the court conservatorship that has controlled his daughter’s life and career for 12 years.
But the judge said she would consider future petitions for his suspension or outright removal, which attorney Samuel D. Ingham plans to file.
The pop star has been on an indefinite work hiatus since early 2019.
James Spears’s attorney, Vivian Lee Thoreen, defended what she said was his perfect record in his run as her conservator, which has seen her net worth go from in debt to well over $60-million US.
Thoreen argued that the disruption caused by his removal would do Spears the very harm the suspension is meant to prevent.
Thoreen also objected to Ingham’s statements about the father-daughter relationship as inadmissible hearsay.
The judge did approve that a corporate fiduciary, the Bessemer Trust, will now serve as co-conservator over her estate along with her father, which Britney Spears had requested.
Most of the attorneys involved, along with Spears’s parents, took part in the hearing via phone and video conference.
The pop star did not attend in any form.
The conservatorship, known in many states as a guardianship, began in 2008 when Spears was having serious mental struggles and an often public meltdown.
The arrangements are normally limited to people with severely diminished ability to make decisions for themselves and are meant to be temporary, but the 38-year-old Spears has remained under court control longer than anyone expected.
Ingham calls her a “high-functioning conservatee” who deserves at least notice of the actions her father is taking, which he has declined to provide.