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Britney's father's conservatorship extended

Britney's father's conservatorship extended
Media and paparazzi swarm a car hoping for a shot of Britney Spears. She was not inside, but such image-seeking packs have prompted a councilman to call for a zone of clear space in public areas. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A court order granting pop star Britney Spears' father temporary conservatorship over the troubled singer was extended until Feb. 14, Los Angeles County Superior Court officials said.

Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz also named a physician who must report back on Spears' medical condition before the next hearing, said Allan Parachini, a court spokesman. And the singer was ordered to have no contact -- verbally or by e-mail or text message -- with Sam Lutfi, her friend and manager who had become a constant presence in her life in recent months.

The decision to extend the order, first granted Friday but set to expire today, continues to give James Spears, who was in court for the hearing, the ability to make decisions involving his 26-year-old daughter's assets. It also grants him the ability to control her property and medical care, restrict visitors to her home, change locks at the residence and hire security. In addition, he may seek civil restraining orders on his daughter's behalf which he has done in the case of Lutfi, whom the singer's family has apparently been trying serve with a stay-away order since last week.

The actions are the latest in Spears' recent troubles. She has been hospitalized since last week after Los Angeles police helped escort her to a local hospital for the second time in a month, this time executing a precision operation that was days in the planning and involved about two dozen officers, a helicopter and special team. They intervened at the request of her psychiatrist, officials said.

Los Angeles Police Department officials estimated the cost of the effort to get the singer safely to UCLA Medical Center at about $25,000.

Last week, spurred by the aggressive paparazzi coverage of Spears, City Councilman Dennis Zine announced that he plans to push for an ordinance that would create a minimum "personal safety zone" around individuals targeted by the media.

Saying he didn't "want a repeat of what happened to Princess Diana with a celebrity in Los Angeles," Zine said he plans to introduce a motion that calls for the city attorney and LAPD to draft new restrictions on paparazzi, including an ordinance that would create a zone of clear space in order to protect public safety on streets, sidewalks and at access points to emergency care facilities and private businesses and homes.

Police Chief William J. Bratton, however, said existing laws are sufficient for his officers to deal with the paparazzi.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com
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