Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sam Helping Britney Fight Back

According to E! News Online Sam Lutfi may be trying to make a federal case out of Britney Spears' travails, but it doesn't appear he's been successful just yet.

A Los Angeles Superior Court spokesperson told E! News Friday that all of the orders pertaining to Jamie Spears' conservatorship over his daughter's affairs are still being handled in the local court, contrary to reports that the case has been transferred to federal jurisdiction.

And, contrary to the efforts of Britney's dearest-if-not-so-nearest to take it there.

Sources close to the situation confirm that Lutfi, who after two weeks has yet to be served with the restraining order Britney's family obtained against him Feb. 1, is behind the filing this week of a strongly worded petition seeking to move the troubled singer's custody and conservatorship cases from L.A. court to federal court.

"Sam is at war with Jamie. This is his first strike," a Spears insider said Friday, explaining that Lutfi feels Britney's rights were violated because court-appointed attorneys did not investigate the claims her family was making about her condition.

Lutfi's new publicist, Michael Sands, who insists that the case has been transferred, filed the petition this week on behalf of New York attorney Jon Eardley, who is listed in the paperwork as Britney's counsel.

"Ms. Spears has been denied the right to associate freely with friends. She has been denied the right to make or receive telephone calls. She has been denied the right to operate a motor vehicle…She has been denied the right to receive and send mail," the petition states.

"Additionally she has been denied the right to her finances. She is not allowed to access her money or credit cards."

"Britney has expressed that she doesn't want to be under the lock and control of her family," Sands said Friday. "She wants nothing to do with her father."

And the case now "resides" in federal court, due to a technicality, he added.

"Because the court's order appointing her father conservator until Mar. 10 wasn't signed until after the notice of removal was filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court...the order extending the void and invalid," Sands rationalized.

But although Sands suggests that it's time for Jamie to back off, the Superior Court spokesperson maintained that they have received no request to turn over any materials related to the Spears' case to U.S. District Court.

Meanwhile, E!'s source says Britney spoke to Eardley before the petition was filed and is planning a new attack on her dad's conservator status.

Eardley is planning to present evidence showing Jamie is not qualified to oversee her affairs, even with the help of a coconservator, and will point to examples in his personal and professional history to prove he isn't capable of making decisions for his daughter, the source said.

"She has basically conveyed that she doesn't want to be in her family's control," Sands said.

Legal experts say, however, that because Britney was previously found unfit to hire her own counsel, it's unlikely that Eardley will be allowed to represent her, thereby making the petition to transfer the case invalid.

Eardley could not be reached directly for comment but, via Sands, he said, "I will try this case in court, not in the media."

On Thursday, L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz extended Jamie Spears' conservator status until at least Mar. 10, when the next hearing is scheduled, and named Britney's brother, Bryan Spears, and his attorney cotrustees of her SBJ Trust, which is used to pay for daily expenses and medical bills.

Britney's increased efforts to push her dad out of the picture come just as she seemed to be settling into a warmer relationship with mom Lynne, whom she hadn't seen for months before her blow-up with Lutfi last month that resulted in a mass migration of paparazzi, cops and, eventually, Britney's parents to her Beverly Hills home.

But the quality time will be on hold for awhile as Lynne heads back to their hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, where 16-year-old daughter Jamie Lynn could probably use some guidance, as well.

"Lynne feels like Britney is in a much better place and on the right track," a family insider says. "She had to get home and take care of Jamie Lynn and other personal matters. She will be back soon."

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(Originally published Feb. 15, 2008 at 4:15 p.m.

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Britney's Brother Named Trustee

A judge has granted a request to name Britney Spears' older brother a trustee to the troubled singer's funds.

The new ruling will give Bryan Spears, 30, and attorney Ivan Taback the authority to serve temporarily as co-trustee powers to the SJP Revocable Trust, reports

The trust had been entirely in the singer's name, but according to court documents filed Thursday, other executors may be added if the acting trustee "is under a legal disability or if by reason of illness or mental or physical disability, in the written opinion of two doctors then practicing medicine, he or she is unable to manage his or her affairs".

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Britney Will Have A Law In Los Angeles

Britney will now have a law in Los Angeles named after her.
I guess Britney’s $24,000 police escort to hospital last month apparently prompted councilmen to propose the amendment. Miss Spears juicy jugs was taken from her Coldwater Canyon home to UCLA Medical Center on January 31, in an ambulance with a motorcade from the LAPD.

The job of the motorcade, which included more than 20 police officers, a helicopter and a team of intervention specialists, was to block off traffic ahead and behind the ambulance, and to keep the paparazzi at bay.

The new law will place a 20-yard “personal safety bubble” around those public figures in the city who are construed by the law to be “paparazzi targets. Councilmen will vote on whether to adopt the new ‘Britney Law’ on March 1.

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Britney Faces Two Court Hearings In Los Angeles Next Week

The first one will deal with the custody battle with her former husband, Kevin Federline.

The other hearing will deal with the restraining order obtained by the singer's parents against her former manager.

No one knows whether Britney will turn up for either hearing.

One thing is for certain: the LA paparazzi will once again gear up for another potentially wild week, in search of that lucrative snap of the most interesting celebrity on the planet.

Kevin Federline and Britney Spears in 2006
Kevin Federline and Britney Spears had two sons together
Whether Spears really is interesting to us is a matter of opinion.

But judging by the relentless, some would say ruthless, way the singer is pursued, the world seems to have an insatiable appetite for the latest titbit of news about the star.

She provides endless hours of water-cooler gossip and tabloid headlines.

"She's her own 24-hour reality television show," says Rob Cohen, who lives in Los Angeles.

"She gives you whatever you want, whenever you want it. She's going to do something new and screwy every second and it's always there."

"You can't avoid it, it's everywhere," adds Christine Roth, Cohen's flatmate. "Everyone's tired of Paris."

'She's like gold'

The Los Angeles paparazzi know they are on to a winner.

In Britney they have a star who almost seems to orchestrate her own tabloid coverage.

Some tabloid agencies have large teams of photographers devoted entirely to hunting down the singer.

Britney Spears in 2007
Photographers follow Spears wherever she goes in Los Angeles
"She's like gold in America right now," says Alex Passos, a video photographer who hangs around the singer's home every day, just waiting for the next big chase.

"People are excited about what she does, what she buys, where she goes."

Ever since Spears became an overnight sensation with her first big hit, Baby One More Time, she has lived her life in a fishbowl - everyone watching, all of the time.

"I think we're interested in Britney for the same reasons we are interested in a number of celebrities, and that is that they've managed to do something that we all seek to do," says Maggie Carroll, a psychotherapist based in Beverly Hills.

"They've managed to escape the life of the ordinary.

"They've managed to escape a mundane existence and we look to stars to try to figure out what we can do to try to pull off that same thing."

'Fantasy' life

But is Spears' life, as it is today, something to aspire to?

Many observers have long since concluded that she is suffering from a mental disorder.

Every aspect of her wretched existence is picked over and dissected as if world peace depended on it.

"In the case of Britney we're mesmerised, because it gives us some hope that this fallen star has some problems that we too, in spite of our own problems, can overcome our own mundane lives," says Ms Carroll.

Everyone wants to know about her and that's why it's getting out of hand and dangerous now
Alex Passos, video photographer

"Just simply reading the tabloids is an escape. It's a fantasy, it's like reading a fairytale or Greek or Roman mythology.

"It takes us out of the everyday, out of the predictable, out of our structured lives into something more spectacular."

In recent weeks, the lengths to which the paparazzi are prepared to go to get the photographs which fill the tabloids have come under intense scrutiny.

Some photographers have quit their jobs because they say the business of chasing Spears has become too aggressive.

"This sort of thing is going on because she's one of the top people in the world," says Mr Passos.

"Everyone wants to know about her and that's why it's getting out of hand and dangerous now," he adds.

But he intends to continue doing the job.

"I like these kinds of exciting things. It's like a lifestyle - but not only that, there's good money in this."

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