Expert opinion on conservatorship application

On March 17, 2008, Jon Eardley filed a declaration from Professor William McGovern in support of Eardley’s case against Britney Spears’ conservatorships.

Prof. McGovern provided his expert opinion on the initial application for Spears’ conservatorships in February 2008. McGovern focused on the court agreeing to dispense with the legally-mandated advance notice to a potential conservatee. He maintained that Jamie Spears’ request did not meet the necessary requirements for waiving the advance notice. Even if the request did meet state law requirements for waiving notice, the conservatee would still need to appear in court within 30 days of being conserved.

To permit a "temporary" conservatorship created ex parte [e.g. without the conservatee present in court] to last more than 30 days without giving the conservatee an opportunity to appear and be heard infringes her rights to due process in the U.S. and California constitutions as well as the spirit of the Probate Code.

McGovern also argued that the temporary conservator’s actions to stop Britney from visiting a lawyer violated her “right to choose and be represented by counsel.” Further, California probate code requires that conservators “accommodate the desires of the conservatee”.

Ultimately, Eardley was not permitted to pursue Britney’s case because she has been blocked from hiring a lawyer of her choice.