The good news: The 5150 psychiatric hold Amanda Bynes was placed under after starting a fire in an elderly woman’s driveway last week has been extended for an additional two weeks. The bad news: The judge delayed the decision to grant Amanda’s parents, Rick and Lynn Bynes, the conservatorship they were seeking.
Before you start facepalming like I initially did, though, things may not be as bad as they seem. Why? The reason for the delay is actually BECAUSE the psychiatric hold was extended. Here’s the latest:
According to People, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Glen M. Reiser deemed an emergency decision on the matter unnecessary due to the fact that Amanda will continue to be evaluated over the next 14 days. He set a hearing for August 9, which he’s hoping Amanda will attend (along, of course, with her court-appointed attorney, Mary Shea); he also stated that before he could grant Rick and Lynne the conservatorship, he “[needs] to have a dialogue with [Amanda] to gauge the propriety of [it]…. There are issues of liberty and property.” In the meantime, he has ordered a routine court investigation of the case, which would include a formal report from Amanda’s doctors.
For the Rick and Lynn’s part, their attorney, Tamar Arminak, said, “My clients only want the best for their daughter. They love her very much”; note, though, that reports that the treatment facility currently holding Amanda have limited her parents’ access to her are apparently false. When asked about whether they were true, Arminak simply said, “No,” before continuing that “they’re hoping to get some privacy until we sort this all out.”
As was the case when Britney Spears was suffering through the worst of her troubles in 2008, if Amanda is placed under a conservatorship, her parents would gain legal control over their daughter—which might be exactly what she needs to start working to get better. What we DON’T know is whether Rick and Lynn are seeking control over bot her person AND her finances, or just one or the other; I’m going to speculate that it’s probably both, but that’s just me.
People spoke to a few lawyers who are uninvolved with the case in search of some elucidation about the situation; here’s what they found:
- Said LA attorney Terry K. Wasserman, “Oftentimes families are placed in a tragic situation where they have to wait for their loved on to hit rock bottom before a conservatorship is justified.” What Rick and Lynn will need to present in order to win legal control is twofold: First, they’ll need evidence showing a recurring pattern of out-of-control behavior; and second, they’ll need to demonstrate that Amanda is unable to care for her own basic needs.
- LA attorney Jeffrey S. Cohen added, “The fire incident alone isn’t enough, but coupled with her history of bizarre behavior, I wouldn’t be surprised if her parents are granted temporary control, pending future hearings.” Over the past year, Amanda has escalated from fairly minor driving offenses (talking on her cell phone while driving) to substantially bigger ones, both behind the wheel and not (hit-and-runs, the bong throwing incident).
All I can say is, I really, REALLY hope the conservatorship comes through. She is very clearly not going through the typical “troubled starlet routine” (although the fact that there even IS a “troubled starlet routine” is problematic in the first place), but rather something much more serious. Here’s hoping she gets the help she needs—and that her parents can aid in getting it for her.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.