Category Archives: Legal Matters

Judge Throws Sam Lutfi´s Case Against Britney Spears Out Of Court

Britney Spears and Sam LutfiBritney Spears‘ former confidante and self-professed manager failed to prove his libel and breach-of-contract claims against the singer’s parents and her caretakers, a judge who dismissed the case mid-trial ruled Thursday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera said an attorney for Sam Lutfi hadn’t proven any of his allegations in the case that centered on events before the singer’s public meltdown more than four years ago.

Lutfi’s side rested its case Tuesday, but Bruguera agreed with arguments by attorneys for Spears’ father and her conservators that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to send the claims to a jury.

Lutfi had sued Lynne Spears for libel and the singer’s father, Jamie, for allegedly hitting him at the singer’s mansion in an incident shortly before Jamie Spears and others were granted control over the singer’s life. Lutfi also had claimed he was owed a 15 percent share of the singer’s earnings, but Bruguera disagreed.

Lutfi left the courtroom without speaking to reporters, and attorneys on both sides of the case declined to comment.

The case centered on many of Britney Spears’ darkest moments, including a pair of psychiatric hospitalizations that led to her father being named her conservator. Her fiance, Jason Trawick, was added as a co-conservator earlier this year. The arrangement is overseen by a probate judge who had directed them not to allow the singer to appear at the trial.

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Britney's Dad To Remain In Control Until At Least July 31

Jamie Spears will remain in control of his daughter Britney Spears’s finances and other aspects of the pop star’s life until July 31, a judge ruled Wednesday in an unscheduled hearing.

No reporters were present for the proceeedings, although two sources confirm to PEOPLE that Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz extended the temporary conservatorship that had been ordered on Feb. 4, during Spears’s second stint in a psychiatric facility.

“I can confirm that the order was issued this afternoon, but I don’t know the attorneys’ motives,” Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini tells PEOPLE.

The temporary conservatorship had been scheduled to expire March 10. Hearings are still scheduled before Goetz on that date and on March 17, sources say.

Jamie Spears has been overseeing his 26-year-old daughter’s well-being and her estimated $100 million fortune since Feb. 1, when Goetz named him and Andrew Wallet temporary co-conservators, giving them the right to employ bodyguards and restrict her visitors.

A source close to Britney says she’s okay with her dad being in control. On Feb. 23, she was allowed to spend time with her sons Preston, 2, and Jayden, 17 months, for the first time since her Jan. 3 standoff with the police, and she has had regular visits since. “She is getting along well with her father and enjoying the closeness and support of her family,” says a source.

Source: People Magazine

Sam Lufti Finally Served With Restraining Order

Britney Spears’s pal Sam Lutfi was served Thursday with a temporary restraining order to keep him away from the troubled pop star, according to court papers.

The order was sought by the temporary co-conservators of Spears’s $100 million estate – her father Jamie and an attorney.

Lutfi had been accused by Britney’s mother of drugging, verbally abusing and controlling the singer, who has been in-and-out hospitalized in two different psych wards recently. He was served at 11 a.m. as he left his apartment in Westside Los Angeles.

Source: People Magazine

New Lawyer Interferes With Britney's Case

The man who claims to be Britney Spears’s new lawyer says that the pop star is being “deprived of her Constitutional rights” and tells PEOPLE he is seeking a “return to normalcy” when it comes to Spears’s living and legal situations.

Jon Eardley, a lawyer with practices in Washington, D.C., New York and Whittier, Calif., filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on behalf of Spears on Thursday. He lashed out against the existing conservatorship as a “violation of [Spears’s] civil rights,” and requested the case be moved from California state court to a federal court.

“I see the case as a civil rights case,” he tells PEOPLE. “These are issues of confinement. Very serious confinement. Not allowed to contact her friends. Not allowed to use the phone. Not allowed to come and go as you please. Bodyguards controlling you and so forth.”

Spears’s father Jamie was granted temporary conservatorship – allowing legal control of his daughter’s well-being and finances – after Spears was placed under an involuntary, emergency hold at the UCLA Medical Center’s psychiatric ward late last month.

Since her release on Feb. 6, she has spent much of her time at her Studio City home, and when she does go out, she is usually driven by a bodyguard. In court papers, Eardley states: “She is being confined by the conservator to the private prison of her own home.”

On Friday, a Superior Court spokesperson said that the existing conservatorship and other orders “are still in effect,” and that court officials are unaware of any federal court action or scheduled hearings on the matter.

“The saddest part [of the legal maneuvering] is it is all to [Britney’s] detriment,” says a legal insider. “The limited conservatorship puts in place medical care and protection of her assets that may be put at risk by the distraction and expense of having to get such an opportunistic and counterproductive action dismissed.”

In fact, legal experts say Eardley’s legal gambit is unlikely to succeed. “It’s not like the judge read papers filed by one side and made decisions without giving each side due process,” says Loyola Law School Professor Stan Goldman, who is not involved in the case.

“It would be quite surprising if the federal court granted a hearing on this,” he adds, “and a total shocker if it ruled against the conservatorship.”

In addition, the Superior Court has found that Spears “lacks the capacity” to retain counsel of her choosing. Because of that, lawyer Adam Streisand, who went to court on Feb. 4 to challenge the conservatorship on her behalf, removed himself himself from the case.

Eardley says he has not met the pop star, but Spears sought him out: “She reached out by phone. I have no idea how [she got my number].”

The attorney says he doesn’t normally represent celebrity clients. But now Eardley has hired spokesperson Michael Sands, who until recently worked with Kevin Federline’s lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan.

When asked if Spears’s often-erratic behavior posed a danger to herself and others, Eardley answered, “I don’t,” adding that he sees far worse cases on the streets.

“In downtown Los Angeles I’m surrounded by people talking to themselves and having fits on the street,” says Eardley. “They are out in public. They are not being institutionalized.”

Source: People Magazine

Britney's Family Gets Extended Control Of Britney

Britney Spears’s family members tightened their grip on her finances Thursday as the court extended her father’s co-conservator role and granted her brother influence over her day-to-day expenses.

L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz made the rulings amid signs that the singer’s family has helped keep Britney out of trouble since her early release from a psych ward.

Her father Jamie Spears has been overseeing his 26-year-old daughter’s well-being and her estimated $100-million fortune since Feb. 1, when Goetz named him and Andrew Wallet temporary co-conservators – giving them the right to employ bodyguards who control Britney’s actions and restrict her visitors.

On Thursday, Jamie and Wallet requested that the status quo be maintained until March 10 because a psychiatric evaluation of Britney, due Wednesday, had not yet been submitted. The commissioner granted the extension, scheduling a hearing that day to consider extending the conservatorship even further.

Britney’s father and Wallet were also granted the power to handle the singer’s taxes, and Britney’s brother Bryan, 30, was named as a trustee of her trust. According to court papers, trust funds are used “to pay for Britney’s continued security, and to pay for her medicine, food, other day-to-day expenses and for psychiatric and other medical services.”

Attorney Jeryll Cohen, representing Jamie, says they still haven’t been able to serve a restraining order against Britney’s pal Sam Lutfi who, Cohen says, seems to be avoiding service. Lynne Spears has accused Lutfi of drugging and verbally abusing her daughter.

Since Britney’s father has taken charge of her affairs, she has kept an uncharacteristically low profile with relatively low-key outings: shopping with her mom, Lynne, and regular trips to the Millennium Dance Complex.

“She’s getting proper medical care and has professional security. The chaos has been removed from the situation,” says one legal insider.

Meanwhile, as Jamie was in court, Britney’s mother, Lynne, was spotted heading out of town at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday.

Source: People Magazine

Jamie Retains His Conservatorship Until At Least February 14th

Here are the headlines from today’s court hearing:

Jamie Spears is still the co-conservator of Britney’s estate, as is Andrew Wallet.

The Commissioner did not give the conservators the power to fire Trope and Trope, Brit’s divorce lawyers.

The Commissioner said, based on the restraining order, Sam Lutfi can have no contact whatsoever with Britney — including e-mails, phone contact, etc.

The Commish extended the conservatorship to Valentine’s Day.

The Commissioner said Adam Streisand had no legal basis for claiming he’s Britney’s new lawyer. There will be a hearing at some point to determine just how mentally competent Britney is.

Source: TMZ

Britney Legally Objects To Her Father's Conservatorship

Britney Spears expressed “strong desire” against her father’s temporary control over her affairs – including her $40 million fortune, a lawyer said in court Monday.

Her father’s conservatorship “would only cause further distress, agitation and estrangement,” said estate attorney Adam Streisand, who asserted he was hired by Spears over the weekend.

In addition, Streisand argued that co-temporary conservator Andrew Wallet “simply doesn’t have the knowledge” to manage Spears’s vast estate (which he valued at $40 million), he said at a hearing.

Streisand, who’s reportedly related to the singer of the same name, instead suggested that Northern Trust Bank be named as the temporary guardian of her wealth.

Jamie Spears, wearing a navy suit, was present in the courtroom, looked solemn, but did not speak.

His lawyers began with an opening statement asserting that Jamie Spears has no interest in taking her wealth, but rather watching over it until his daughter recovers, with the eventual hope she’s reunited with her children.

Wallet vehemently argued that the court be shown proof that Spears was of sound mind to hire such an attorney.

A public defender for Spears was also present, and testified that he met with the singer at the hospital Sunday for about 10 minutes.

He added that in his opinion, the pop star “does not understand the nature of these proceedings” or their impact on her future. He added, “I think she lacks capacity” to hire a private lawyer.

It was also revealed by Spears’s attorneys that despite a restraining order issued Friday, the singer’s pal Sam Lutfi had “spoken to Ms. Spears by telephone.”

The father’s lawyers expressed difficulty at subpoenaing Lutfi with the order, saying he would not answer the door when a person came to serve him recently.

The court was then closed to the public, and no rulings of whether to replace her father as temporary conservator have been reached thus far.

Source: People Magazine

Britney Being Sued By Stylist

A Las Vegas fashion consultant is suing Britney Spears for damages in excess of $50,000, claiming the popwreck stopped paying her for her services. In a lawsuit filed on January 18 in Clark County District Court, and first reported by Norm Clark, Nancy Rosu claims that Brit had her buying clothes on her behalf, then reimbursed her later. But in August 2007, Rosu alleges Brit stopped paying her back.

Rosu is suing for breach of contract and, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Source: TMZ

Britney Refuses To Pay $3,000 Hit & Run Fine

The judge in Britney Spears’ other court case — the one for driving without a valid license back in August — continued the case today for the last time. Superior Court Judge T.K Herman said if the legal matter is not resolved by February 20, it will go to trial.

TMZ has learned both sides are still working out a deal. We’re told prosecutors wanted to put Brit on 12 months probation, but agreed to let go of probation if she agreed to pay the maximum fine of $3,000. Brit’s lawyer, Michael Flanagan, won’t accept those terms and wants the misdemeanor charge lowered to a fix-it ticket.

Source: TMZ

Lynne Spears Says She Blames Herself For Britney's Problems

Mama Spears is stepping up…sort of.

Lynne tells Life & Style she blames herself for Britney’s problems. “What mother wouldn’t?”

She feels particularly responsible for not always being around while Brit’s career was taking off.  “I wish I’d been there more while she was touring,” Lynne says. “But I couldn’t be. I had the other kids [brother Bryan, now 30, and sister Jamie Lynn, now 16] to look after.”

Good stuff, right? But here’s where she loses us:

“I didn’t raise my children to have Hollywood careers,” she notes. “This all just exploded in my face, and big dreams became big headaches.”

C’mon, Lynne. Brit didn’t drive herself to the Micky Mouse Club auditions. Just like Jamie Lynn didn’t fly herself out to L.A. to grab the lead in Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101.

You’re on the right track, but don’t think for a second that an entertainment career wasn’t what YOU wanted for your children.

Source: E! Online