How #FreeBritney helped Amanda Bynes end her conservatorship

About four months after Britney Spears was freed from her conservatorship, former actress Amanda Bynes is now free. On Tuesday morning, a California judge ruled to end Bynes’ nearly nine-year conservatorship, after she filed to be released a month ago. A judge tentatively ruled to terminate it on Monday, but it was finally made official on Tuesday.

“The conservatorship is no longer needed or required, and therefore the petition for termination is granted,” said the judge during the hearing that lasted a little over five minutes. “Congratulations to Miss Bynes, and good luck.”

The former child star, who is now 35 years old, was placed under a conservatorship in 2013 after several incidents of erratic behavior, including a hit-and-run and a DUI. In July 2013, she started a small fire in her driveway, which led to her being involuntarily hospitalized, and her parents later filing to have her placed under a conservatorship; it would be controlled by her mother, Lynn Bynes, who now supports Bynes’ request to end it.

Tamar Arminak, attorney for Bynes’ mother, told BuzzFeed News in February that her client was “very proud of Amanda and the progress that she has made.” Arminak added that she “looks forward to seeing the next chapter in Amanda’s life—as her mother, not her conservator.”

Bynes rose to fame in the 2000s after she got her show, The Amanda Show—a spinoff of the widely popular teen sketch-comedy show, All That, on Nickelodeon. She also took roles in teen comedies, such as She’s the Man and Easy A, her last notable role before she retired. After she was placed under conservatorship, Bynes retreated from the public eye and focused on life outside of her fame. She graduated with a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and is engaged to a man named Paul Michael.

Spears’ battle to terminate her 13-year conservatorship, which finally ended in November 2021, put a spotlight on Bynes’ conservatorship and was beneficial in helping to change the way the law treats conservatorship abuse. Several states, including California, New Jersey, and New Mexico, have passed new laws placing more restrictions on conservatorships and, in the case of California, allowing conservatees to chose their own lawyers. 

“The conservatee now has more of a voice,” Graham Douds, a Barr & Young Attorneys partner, which deals with conservatorship cases, tells Fast Company. “If there is a situation where someone feels they are being manipulated, their actions or words are taken out of context, there’s someone that the court is forced to listen to.”

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