August 18, 2021
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section – 1425 NYA
Washington, D.C. 20530
Re: Case number: 94490-HGN
Violation of due process in Conservatorship of Britney Spears
Violation of civil rights in Conservatorship of Britney Spears
Individuals under conservatorship are adjudicated to lack capacity. Therefore, all conservatees
are guaranteed protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In 2008, a California court placed Britney Spears under conservatorship, granting her father
James Spears nearly absolute control over Ms. Spears’ person and estate. The initial
conservatorship proceedings were characterized by denial of due process. The ensuing thirteen
years of conservatorship have been and continue to be plagued by civil rights violations. These
matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice in their role of investigating and
prosecuting civil rights violations.
THE COURT DENIED DUE PROCESS OF LAW
The 14th Amendment states the following: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
DENIED NOTICE OF CONSERVATORSHIP HEARING
Probate Code 2250(e)(2) states, (2) Notice of the hearing shall be personally delivered to the
proposed conservatee… Media reported that Ms. Spears was not served notice of her initial
DENIED RIGHT TO ATTEND CONSERVATORSHIP HEARINGS
Probate Code 2250.4 states: The proposed temporary conservatee shall attend the hearing…
Media reported that Ms. Spears was not allowed to attend her initial conservatorship hearings.
DENIED RIGHT TO COUNSEL OF CHOICE
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in their 2021 Amici curiae provided extensive legal
argument supporting Ms. Spears’ right to counsel of choice. The 2021 court agreed with the
ACLU. Media reported that in 2008, Ms. Spears attempted to retain legal counsel to defend
against the conservatorship. The 2008 court dismissed Ms. Spears counsel of choice. For thirteen
years, court appointed counsel failed to represent Ms. Spears’ rights and wishes, as evidenced
by Ms. Spears’ having no knowledge of her right to petition to terminate.
CONSERVATOR AND COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL DENIED CIVIL RIGHTS
The Notice of Conservatorship states: Every conservatee has the right to be treated with
understanding and respect and to have his or her wishes considered. Every conservatee has all
basic human rights and the right to be well cared for by his or her conservator. … The conservator
must give due regard to the preferences of the conservatee and encourage the conservatee’s
participation in decision making.
DENIED RIGHT TO COUNSEL OF CHOICE AND DENIED RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION OF COUNSEL
The Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states the right to: Ask a judge to replace the conservator;
Ask a judge to end the conservatorship. Probate Code 1471(a)(2) states that a proceeding to
terminate the conservatorship is a duty of the court appointed counsel. For thirteen years, Ms.
Spears’ court-appointed attorney concealed from Ms. Spears that she had a right to petition to
terminate her conservatorship.
In Tedesco v. White, California’s Court of Appeal ruled that a conservatee lacks standing to seek
a civil remedy without permission from the conservator or the court. Ms. Spears could not retain
counsel or initiate litigation without permission. Her only access to the court was through an
attorney who concealed crucial information about her rights and failed to advocate for her rights
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted, shall exist within the United States… New York Times reported that in 2019, Ms. Spears
told the court that she was forced to perform when she had a fever of 104 degrees. Ms. Spears
reportedly told the court it was one of the scariest moments in my life.
In 2021 Ms. Spears told the court: My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find
an attorney, and by contract my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with
the tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it.
It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own
attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead and I did the tour. … If I don’t do this, what they tell me to
enslave me to do, they’re gonna punish me. … I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in
California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking.
DENIED RECEIPT AND CONTROL OF EARNINGS
California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states the right to directly receive and control his or
her salary. Ms. Spears had substantial earnings during the thirteen years of conservatorship. Yet,
the conservator receives and controls Ms. Spears’ earnings. Ms. Spears receives an allowance
that is not commensurate with her earnings, and the conservator maintains control over Ms.
Spears’ expenditures from her allowance.
INVOLUNTARY PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION
Probate Code Section 2354(b) states the following: The conservator may require the conservatee
to receive medical treatment, whether or not the conservatee consents to the treatment, if a court
order specifically authorizing the medical treatment has been obtained pursuant to Section 2357.
Ms. Spears’ conservator authorized involuntary administration of the psychotropic medication
lithium without any court order permitting such medical treatment. Ms. Spears told the court:
Three days later, after I said no to Vegas… He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium… You
can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months. But he
put me on that, and I felt drunk.”
INVOLUNTARY INVASIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE
Probate Code Section 2354(c) states that the conservator may unilaterally consent to medical
treatment to be performed on the conservatee only where the conservator determines in good
faith based upon medical advice that the case is an emergency case in which the medical
treatment is required because (1) the treatment is required for the alleviation of severe pain or
(2) the conservatee has a medical condition which, if not immediately diagnosed and treated, will
lead to serious disability or death. Ms. Spears was forced to accept an involuntary intra-uterine
device (IUD) intended to prevent pregnancy. Ms. Spears was not experiencing an emergency
case in which the medical treatment of an involuntary IUD would prevent serious disability or
death. The treatment of an involuntary IUD was not intended to alleviate severe pain. Rather,
the involuntary IUD likely caused Ms. Spears severe emotional pain as she was denied any right
to exercise reproductive freedom.
DENIED RIGHT TO VISITATION
Probate Code Section 2351(b) states that a conservator’s control shall not extend to personal
rights retained by the conservatee, including, but not limited to, the right to receive visitors,
telephone calls, and personal mail, unless specifically limited by court order. No court order was
issued limiting Ms. Spears’ personal right to visitation. Yet, Ms. Spears’ visits with her boyfriend
and her children were contingent upon her complete cooperation with the conservator and his
DENIED RIGHT TO PRIVACY
California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states: The conservatee will be allowed the greatest
degree of freedom and privacy possible consistent with the underlying reasons for the
conservatorship. Regardless of any law, the right to privacy of one’s body has increasingly
become a substantial part of today’s social code such that that any infraction is viewed as a
violation of our human dignity. Ms. Spears told the court: They watched me change every day
— naked – morning, noon, and night. My body – I had no privacy door for my room. Staff
watching Ms. Spears change every day — naked – morning, noon, and night was not consistent
with the underlying reasons for the conservatorship. Such violation of privacy and dignity served
only to cause Ms. Spears emotional trauma and to satisfy the prurient interests of the
conservator and his agents.
DENIED RIGHT TO MARRY
Probate Code Section 1900 states: The appointment of a conservator … does not affect the
capacity of the conservatee to marry… Ms. Spears stated to the court that the conservator
denied her right to marry.
CALIFORNIA’S FAILURE TO OVERSEE CONSERVATORSHIP
Ms. Spears’ case raises the question of how many vulnerable adults the California probate courts
have dropped into the abyss of conservatorship with no due process and with negligible oversight
going forward. The information below was collected from conservators’ billings submitted to the
court, reviewed by the court, and approved by the court.
• Licensed Professional Fiduciary Frumeh Labow routinely billed clients over 24 hours a
day. See the attached chart of Court Approved Daily Billings – Frumeh Labow.
• Licensed Professional Fiduciary Sally Cicerone billed clients as much as 57 hours a day,
including 19 trips to the Post Office in a single day. See the attached chart of Court
Approved Daily Billings – Sally Cicerone.
• A third Licensed Professional Fiduciary billed over 60 hours in a single day. Those data
are not specifically reported here, due to the family’s fear of retaliation.
The Los Angeles County and Orange County Probate Court practices of approving conservators
billing over 24 hours a day demonstrate the lack of substantive oversight for Los Angeles County
and Orange County conservatorships.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Many conservatees are denied due process in their conservatorship proceedings. Many
conservatees are denied civil rights throughout their conservatorships. Many conservatorships
receive little to no court oversight. Those procedural flaws appear widespread and have been
common practice for at least a decade.
Linda Kincaid, MPH
Court Approved Daily Billings – Frumeh Labow
Court Approved Daily Billings – Sally Cicerone
2021 08 18 DOJ refused to investigate the abusive Brintey Spears CONservatroship Final
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