As far as her parents are concerned, Britney Spears needs to be shielded from the folks in her entourage. And from herself.
With Britney under observation in the psych ward of UCLA Medical Center, Jamie and Lynne Spears headed to a Los Angeles courtroom Friday to obtain a legal order empowering them to make decisions on her behalf.
Britney and her estate were placed under Jamie's temporary conservatorship by Court Commissioner Reva Goetz. The order, which only lasts through the weekend, gives the father control over his troubled 26-year-old's treatment and her finances, and a say in who can have access to her home and hospital room.
At the same time, the family was granted a temporary restraining against Sam Lutfi, effectively banishing Britney's manager and confidant.
To avoid appearances that they themselves might have ulterior motives, Jamie and Lynne petitioned the court to appoint a third-party coconservator to serve as an independent monitor. Goetz, who specializes in probate matters, selected an attorney, Andrew Wallet, for the role.
"It is in the best interests of the conservatee to have conservatorship over her person," Goetz said in court, saying the move was "necessary and appropriate."
The next hearing in the case is set for Monday—the same day lawyers for Britney and Kevin Federline are due in another courtroom to tangle again over custody issues.
The Spears family brought the big guns to court. While Geraldine Wyle is fronting the family in the conservatorship case, a source close to the case tells E! News celebrity attorney Blair Berk has been retained as a litigator to "deal with the Sam issue" and any other challengers. Berk, who has handled cases for Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry and Paul Reubens, is perhaps best known for driving another famously downward-spiraling starlet, Lindsay Lohan, to rehab.
Berk, says the insider, "is known as a bulldog."
Indeed, Friday's court maneuver by the Spears family immediately marginalized Lutfi, a fixture at Britney's side in recent months while she was estranged from Jamie and Lynne. Sources have indicated the Spears family fears Lutfi is not out for Britney's best interests and may be more concerned with her bank account.
For his part, Lutfi earlier told E! News' Ryan Seacrest that he has no designs on Britney's money but instead has a "moral obligation" to take care of her. That led him to arrange a meeting with Spears' psychiatrist, Dr. Deborah Nadel, to have the performer committed Thursday morning.
Lutfi also slammed Spears' parents, who have criticized his intervention in their daughter's life, saying Jamie and Lynn Spears were "incapable of telling the truth and incapable of sympathizing."
"I have no more respect for the family," he said.
Lutfi says he is consulting his own legal team to fashion a response to Jamie and Lynne Spears' power play.
—Additional reporting by Ken Baker