Britney Spears' attorneys tried to win the singer back some visitation rights with her two young sons in a custody hearing Monday morning (February 4), but were unsuccessful — since the visits are intended to take place in a calm setting, not a psychiatric ward, where Spears is at the moment, after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center on Thursday morning.
Spears' attorney Anne Kiley was joined by a court-appointed lawyer from Spears' conservatorship (Andrew Wallat) and two attorneys recently hired by her father Jamie Spears (senior counsel Jeryll S. Cohen and associate Viviane Lee Thoreen of the Los Angeles firm Luce, Forward). Reporters were ejected from the courtroom during the closed half-hour hearing, but there was no discussion regarding the new attorneys taking over the case from Trope and Trope, Kiley's firm, according to Allan Parachini, the court's information director. Both Spears and Federline were ordered to file updated income and expenses prior to March 10, according to the minute order.
Because recent events such as the singer's hospitalization require further discussions, Parachini said, the motion for visitation in a therapeutic setting was tabled until the next custody hearing, scheduled to take place on February 19. For Britney to regain any visitation or custody rights to her children, Sean Preston and Jayden James, she needs to remain in treatment, mental-health law expert Carolyn Reinach Wolf told MTV News.
Wolf, a senior partner at New York law firm Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger LLP, said that Spears needs to be stabilized, otherwise she runs the risk of losing her children indefinitely. "From all accounts, Britney is a danger to herself and others," Wolf said. "These next weeks are critical for Britney. If she does not respond positively to the treatment, her access to her children will be in serious jeopardy."
A hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon regarding the singer's conservatorship, and whether her father Jamie Spears, along with Wallat, will continue to have decision-making powers in her affairs.
[This story was originally published at 2:14 pm E.T. on 2.4.2008]