Britney Spears – Synopsis of the Court Orders and the Other Legal Stuff: One Lawyer’s Take on the Whole Mess
Posted on Oct 8, 2007 in Celebrity Justice
First, the kids: the next hearing in the Britney Spears – Kevin Federline custody fight is scheduled for 10/26/07 before Commissioner Gordon (am I the only one that thinks “Batman” every time this guy’s name pops up?) …. Here’s a round-up:
10.04.07 — Britney Misses First Court-Ordered Visitation With the 2 Boys
Britney’s kids wait in the car, stuck at the security gate, for 45 minutes and then return to Kevin Federline. Britney Spears’ alleged reasons for not seeing her kids: she was asleep and didn’t hear the buzzer, the intercom was broken, and today, Britney didn’t want to have the parenting coach around so she just didn’t answer the door. Britney also tried to have the first visit in an hotel room, but Kevin Federline’s attorney nixed that (assumedly he threatened a court hearing on the issue) and Britney checked out of the hotel and returned home for the visit.
10.03.07 Visitation Order Requires Supervision Of Britney During Visits
Another hearing – another Order: this one placing even more restrictions on Britney Spears, in part because the Judge noted she had not been in “substantial compliance” with his prior orders and also in response to Britney not showing up for drug testing. Now, not showing up for a test will be “deemed by the court as a failed test.”
Together, Commissioner Gordon’s two orders require the following:
1. Kevin Federline has custody of the two boys. Britney Spears is allowed visits every other day, subject to certain conditions. First, a monitor will watch over Britney’s visits with her sons, and the monitor can stop the visits if the monitor decides any behavior or action by Spears endangers the children.
2. Britney Spears must complete at least three individual counseling sessions by the 10/26/07 hearing.
3. Britney must undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week. If she fails to show up for a test, it’s assumed to be positive for drugs. Commissioner Gordon has found that Britney engages in “habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol.”
4. Britney Spears must meet once a week with a “parenting coach” — who will then file reports with the court on how Britney is doing.
5. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline must complete the court’s “Parenting Without Conflict” class.
6. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline cannot drink alcohol or use drugs either in the presence of the kids or within 12 hours before taking charge of the boys.
Second, there’s the car hit and run:
In August, paparazzi videoed Britney Spears colliding with a parked car as she was parking her convertible Mercedes. Britney didn’t leave a note, didn’t contact the car’s owner. Now the owner’s wanting Britney to be responsible for the damages.
Third, there’s the driving without a license:
Kevin Federline’s attorneys pointed out to Commissioner Gordon that Britney’s been driving around LA without a California driver’s license since she hit town. She’s got a valid Louisiana license, but never got one for California. Britney promptly went and got her new license the next day.
Fourth, Child Protective Services may still be investigating Britney:
Gloria Allred, the attorney for Britney’s former bodyguard, is reporting that CPS is once again investigating Britney based upon her client’s allegations of nudity and drug use around the children.
What does all this mean?
From a legal perspective, Commissioner Gordon is taking control of the situation by setting standards to be met and then allowing the parents to comply, or not. His focus is upon the two kids and what is best for them. Period.
Kevin is in full compliance. Britney’s actions could be read as being stubborn, but for those who have worked with addicts, she’s acting par for the course. The commissioner has already labelled her as having drug issues in his initial order, remember.
Shaving your body hair is common among addicts who do not want hair follicle tests (which reveal all the chemicals ingested during the past three months -alcohol and drugs). Avoiding drug testing, and court appearances – ditto. Addicts don’t want to be tested, and usually think that if they just don’t show, then no one can prove they aren’t clean. Kicking people out of their lives, like parents and trusted advisors, is another common occurance among addicts. Not wanting to invite people into your home – another red flag. Addicts don’t want anyone in their crib other than their trusted few: it’s hard to keep the place pristine when you’re partying a lot, and this stuff is illegal, after all. (Think: why is Britney wanting the hotel visits? Would you want to corral two toddlers in a hotel room? )
Maybe Britney isn’t an addict, but she sure acts a lot like one. The judge is placing boundaries upon her – expect more on 10/26 – that define Britney Spears as she is today.
Britney can run, but she cannot hide from the inevitablity of Judge Gordon’s findings. If she doesn’t change course, she will lose those kids.�