#FreeBritney troops showed up in force at L.A. County Superior Court on Wednesday while lawyers huddled before Judge Brenda J. Penny in a closed hearing to determine the status of a conservatorship that has controlled every facet of the pop princess’ life for more than a decade.

With both of Britney’s parents present—Lynne Spears and ex-husband Jamie on opposite sides of the room—Judge Penny ordered court transcripts and documents sealed, so details are yet to be disclosed. But public filings issued after the hearing show that Britney’s dad—while stepping back temporarily from the conservatorship for health reasons—remains Britney’s keeper. He’s authorized to make monthly payments to temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery, perhaps until the next hearing scheduled for January 22, 2020.

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The arrangement falls short of #FreeBritney hopes but is sure to spur efforts by some of the singer’s most ardent fans to expose what they view as corrupt victimization of their idol. They’ve initiated an effort to challenge Montgomery’s temporary conservatorship, and experts in probate law pushing for nationwide reform of conservatorships say fans might have a point—and there will be more to come.

Meanwhile, we’ll be watching for Britney’s next Instagram.


RELATED: Why #FreeBritney Protesters Think Britney Spears Is Being Held Against Her Will


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