Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has a few questions after a judge denied Britney Spears’ request to remove her father from a conservatorship she’s been forced to abide by for 13 years.
The Wednesday ruling came a week after the 39-year-old singer called for her father, James Spears, to be jailed for what she described as “abusive” control over her life and her estimated $60 million fortune. The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Spears was “substantially unable to manage his or her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.”
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for July 14.
Casey, along with fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), are seeking information about conservatorships from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a letter written to the agencies first obtained by Time.
Specifically, the two senators want to know how prevalent conservatorships are in the country, what data the federal government collections about them, and how Congress can improve the protection of people like Spears who don’t have full control of their own finances.
“While guardians and conservators often serve selflessly and in the best interest of the person under guardianship, a lack of resources for court oversight and insufficient due process in guardianship proceedings can create significant opportunities for neglect, exploitation, and abuse,” Casey and Warren wrote.
Spears was forced into a conservatorship managed by her father in 2008 amid concerns over her mental health following a series of erratic incidents that culminated with her being committed for nearly a week to the psychiatric ward of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Last week, Spears spoke publicly about the conservatorship for the first time, telling a Los Angeles probate judge the situation was “abusive” and needed to end.
“I don’t owe these people anything — especially me, the one that has roofed and fed tons of people on tour on the road,” Spears said last week, according to a transcript of her testimony. “It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through.”
“I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money,” Spears added.
Spears also claimed her father was responsible for several personal life decisions, including denying her the right to remove a birth control device. Her father denied those claims and asked the court to investigate her statements.
Jodi Montgomery, court-appointed professional that Spears supported, has had power over the singer’s personal decisions since her father relinquished that role, known as conservator of the person, in 2019. James Spears currently oversees only her money and business dealings along with an estate-management firm.
Montgomery’s attorney Lauriann Wright said in a statement that “conservatorships in California are subject to the strictest laws in the nation to protect against any potential abuses,” and that Montgomery is “a licensed private professional fiduciary who, unlike family members who serve as conservators, is required to follow a Code of Ethics.”
Fans have rallied behind the singer using a #FreeBritney hashtag on social media. While she’s been in the conservatorship for 13 years, the New York Times brought newfound attention to the singer’s situation back in February with an episode of its documentary series The New York Times Presents
The Associated Press contributed to this report.