March 12, 2008 / 12:46 AM / 10 years ago

Attorney in Spears case appeals conservatorship

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An attorney who claims to represent pop star Britney Spears has filed an appeal challenging the conservatorship that gave the troubled singer’s father control of her personal and business affairs.

Britney Spears drives her car out of the garage of Los Angeles Superior Court after a child custody hearing with her ex-husband regarding her two sons in Los Angeles, California October 26, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The filing, made on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Jon Eardley, claims that Spears was not given the minimum five-day notice required by California law when control is sought over a person’s assets or estate.

“The record shows no legitimate grounds for dispensing with the 5-day notice requirement ... nor any finding by the court of good cause for dispensing with the 5-day notice,” said the filing, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Eardley has said in previous court filings that he was hired by Spears in a telephone conversation, and a spokesman for the attorney told Reuters on Tuesday that Eardley continues to believe he is acting in her best interest despite the fact a federal court has ruled that he cannot act as her attorney.

“Jon has tried to settle and did extend an olive branch” to the other side, said his spokesman, Michael Sands.

Sands said it will be up to the California court of appeals to rule on this latest appeal in the twisting and turning legal battle over the 26-year-old singer whose life has veered out of control since late in 2006.

Spears, who gained fame as a child star on TV and as a teen scored hit songs like “Oops ... I Did it Again,” has been in rehab, lost custody of her sons to ex-husband Kevin Federline and been hospitalized twice for psychiatric evaluation.

On February 1, a California state court granted temporary conservatorship to her father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew Wallet. That ruling remains in effect until July 31.

Eardley attempted to move the case to federal court from state court to get the conservatorship changed, but his attempt was rebuffed by a federal judge who said he could not be Britney’s attorney because at the time Eardley claims he was hired, Spears had no authority to hire him.

Her conservators — Jamie Spears and Wallet — were the only two people who could employ an attorney for her, the federal judge ruled.

Yet, Eardley has vowed to continue to fight on the singer’s behalf. He hired Sands as his spokesman, and Sands also represents Sam Lutfi, Britney Spears’ self-styled manager who has had a temporary restraining order issued against him.

Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh

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