Inspired by growing public outcry over Britney Spears’ conservatism, two members of the House of Representatives are moving to introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow Spears and other individuals to change their personal guardian or guardian from a judge. will prepare the way for
The bill, known as the Freedom and Freedom from Exploitation Act, or the Liberation Act, will be announced Tuesday by co-sponsor Representative Charlie Crist, Democrat of Florida, and Republican Representative Nancy Mays of South Carolina.
Under the law, individuals will have the right to ask that their private guardian or guardian, who is appointed by a judge, be replaced with a public guardian, family member or a private agent employed by the state, the bill argues that would provide more accountability. Currently, individuals typically must prove in court that abuse or fraud has occurred in order to change guardianship. The bill can also help remedy lack of data On Guardianship and Guardianship in the United States.
“We want to make sure we bring transparency and accountability to the conservation process,” Ms. Mays said. “The Britney Spears stereotype, it’s a nightmare. If this can happen to her, it can happen to anyone.”
The legislation, which refers to Ms. Spears as a pop icon, would be proposed as the “Free Britney” movement has gained impressive traction, including among parliamentarians, after a New York Times Documentary This year revealed Ms Spears’ years of struggle under her guardianship, which began in 2008 and gave her father extensive control over her life and finances. In 2019, Ms. Spears told a Los Angeles judge that guardianship, she felt compelled to stay in a mental health facility and perform against her will.
Singer’s testimony last month, in which she told a judge that the stereotype was “outrageous” and that it had “traumatized” her, increasing scrutiny of such arrangements.
Bill argues that Ms. Spears’s unsuccessful petitions in court remove her father, Jamie Spears, as mentor Show that his right to due process has been violated. However, the law falls short of the systemic reforms that many advocates have called for. The bill would not make it easy to eliminate such guardianship or guardianship, nor would it encourage state courts, which largely oversee such arrangements, to exercise alternatives.
The National Center for State Courts estimated that, in 2011, there were 1.5 million active guardianships alone. (A custodian usually controls an adult’s financial affairs, while a guardian controls all aspects of a person’s life. But in practice, there may be slight differences between the two arrangements.) Most are senior or disabled individuals. are included. show individual cases what a small agency One person may have a guardianship, but there is no data on how many people have petitioned to be set free.
“Parenting is extremely restrictive,” said Priyanka Nair, co-director of the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic at Brooklyn Law School. “One thing that would be extraordinarily helpful is legislation that actually says that guardianship should be a last resort and that courts should consider other less restrictive ways of providing aid in decision-making.”
Rick Black, Executive Director Center for Estate Administration Reform, a non-profit advocacy group that helped shape the bill, said it was happy, though the road to reform is long.
“The free act is just the beginning,” said Mr. Black. “But it will take discussions to give us hopefully statistics to help quantify issues to help implement real reforms and prosecute those who perpetrate these crimes.”
Mr Crist said the bill was made narrow in order to attract bipartisan support.
“We’ve tried to be very smart and focused,” he said. “It gives us a huge opportunity to be successful.”
The bill would also fund states to assign independent caseworkers to individuals under guardianship or guardianship to monitor for signs of abuse. Grant-accepting states would require caseworkers and guardians to provide financial disclosure, an effort aimed at preventing fraud.
a previous bill The House failed to move beyond the Judiciary Committee, aimed at reforming guardianship, introduced in 2019. But all parties are encouraged, with lawmakers, advocates and Ms. Spears’ supporters, to promote the current law and raise awareness.
“We are all taking advantage of the momentum the Free Brittany movement has provided,” Mr Black said.