Lawmakers Introduce Conservatorship Reform Bill Prompted By Britney Spears Case
Britney Spears’ battle to be released from her conservatorship is still ongoing. Her struggle has prompted the proposal of a bipartisan bill that, if passed, could make it easier for people under similar conservatorships to request a different guardian other than their court-appointed one in instances of abuse or fraud. The bill, known as the Freedom And Right To Emancipate From Exploitation Act (or FREE Act, a nod to the #FreeBritney movement), was introduced by sponsors Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Florida) and Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina).
“We want to make sure that we bring transparency and accountability to the conservatorship process,” Mace told The New York Times. “If this can happen to her, it can happen to anybody.” Crist added: “We’ve tried to be very smart and focused. That gives us a much greater opportunity to have success.”
As it stands now, the legislation is focused on providing a pathway to dispute court-appointed conservators and replace them with a different individual. It does not make it easier to dissolve a conservatorship altogether. It would, however, provide funds for caseworkers to monitor conservatorships for signs of abuse.
The latest development in the Spears case came last week, when she was granted the right to choose her own attorney.