Conservatorship of Amanda Bynes: EOnline
Los Angeles, Califoria Conservatorship of Amanda Bynes
So what's the deal?
"Bynes, 28, remains under a temporary conservatorship that was reinstated on Monday, giving her mom Lynn Bynes control once again over her finances and medical decisions pending a hearing set for Feb. 24, 2015. And since a judge ruled also ruled at the time that it was the right thing to keep her hospitalized, why the quick about-face?
Mina Sirkin, an estate, probate and trust attorney in Los Angeles who's an expert regarding conservatorships, tells E! News that, after a hold is extended for 30 days (Bynes wasinitially admitted Oct. 10 on a 72-hour hold that was subsequently extended for 14 days), the patient "has a right to say why she should not be in an involuntary hold."
"She has the right to have her own expert psychiatrist testify as to why she should not be held against her wishes," Sirkin, who is not involved with Bynes' case, continued. "Mary Shea [Bynes' court-appointed attorney] is a very capable public defender. "She will hire the top psychiatrist to show that Amanda is not so impaired to need to be in a secured facility. She will display her as merely eccentric."
So, even though the hold was technically extended, Bynes had the right to argue her case and was released right not long after her two-week hold was supposed to expire.
"Under mental health rules, a person cannot be involuntarily held without a court order beyond the days the statute allows," Sirkin explained. "First, 72 hours, then 14 days, and then 30 days. At the 30th day, a hearing has to be set to keep her longer under the LPS [Conservatorship] rules."
"At the hearing, a psychiatrist has to testify as to why she remains gravely disabled, meaning that she is of either danger to herself or to others," Sirkin continued. "The conservatorship does not necessarily require hospitalization. Her mental state is what is in question [regarding] whether or not she needs to be in a secured facility against her wishes. What a Conservatorship over a person means: what a person can and cannot be forced to do. It appears they can't be forced to stay in an institution.
"Conservatorship of the person allows for the conservator to make medical decisions for her, but a locked-facility or secure-facility order require special circumstances of grave disability."
So between now and February...
"She will be out, unless she has another episode which requires her to go in under another 72-hour hold, called a 5150 hold," Sirkin said. "The spending issues are related only to the conservator of the estate and cannot affect the decision to release her."
Meanwhile, Bynes did not show up in court this afternoon, though her parents, Rick and Lynn, did with their attorney, as did a lawyer whom the judge ultimately refused to accept as Amanda's counsel, saying the actress turned fashion student lacked the capacity to form a contract (common conservatorship-related language).
Mina N. Sirkin is a Los Angeles Conservatorship Attorney, and Board Certified Specialist Attorney in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law in Los Angeles, California. She can be reached at 818.340.4479 or by email at MinaSirkin@gmail.com.