Thursday, November 08, 2007

Latest On Custody Battle

We've learned that K-Fed is going back to court tomorrow (8th), arguing that Brit is violating the Commissioner's drug testing order.

Sources say K-Fed's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, will go before L.A. Country Commissioner Scott Gordon tomorrow morning, arguing that Britney has failed to respond in a timely manner when she is called for random drug testing. We're told Kaplan will ask to modify the existing custody order, giving Britney limited visitation rights.

We're told neither Britney nor K-Fed will be present. And, we're told, this could be a real dogfight.


Britney Spears did not respond to eight of 14 random drug test requests, Kevin Federline's attorney said in court Thursday.

Alleging the singer lives in a "parallel universe," lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan reminded the court that the singer had been reprimanded three times by Commissioner Scott Gordon for failing to be reachable by phone.

"Mr. Federline doesn't want to take these children out of their mother's life, but what are we to do?" Kaplan said.

Spears's lawyer, Anne Kiley, called the current drug testing procedure "unconstitutional," adding that just because the singer may fail to respond to testing calls doesn't mean she's using drugs. Kiley also pointed out that Spears has passed multiple tests successfully.

Explaining why Spears frequently changes her phone number, Kiley said the singer's number often falls into the wrong hands.When Commissioner Gordon stated that responding to a morning call wasn't an extreme request, Kiley shot back: "But you're not a pop star with a No. 1 album to promote." (Spears's new album Blackout is No. 2 on Billboard.)

Commissioner Gordon ordered both attorneys to reconvene at 10:30 a.m. to hammer out a new plan for testing. Currently, Spears must submit to twice-weekly random drug and alcohol tests, and is required to give a urine sample within six hours of being called.

The drug testing facility is under court order to attempt to reach the singer three times within one hour. A missed test is considered a failed test.

On Oct. 30, Spears's visitation rights with her sons Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, were scaled back after her parenting coach was critical of the pop star.Spears "rarely engaged with [her] children in either conversation or play" during their monitored time together, the coach testified last month.


Despite calls for changes in the existing custody agreement between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, the judge in the case ruled today that things are (basically) to stay the same.

Today's emergency hearing dealt primarily with the pop star's apparent inability to respond in a timely fashion to calls from the testing facility for her court-ordered random drug tests. According to K-Fed's attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan, who told the judge that the singer exists in a "parallel universe," Brit has not responded properly to 8 out of 14 attempts (each "failed" attempt consists of three phone calls from the facility within a one hour period).

Britney's excuse? Aside from her lawyer Anne Kiley calling the testing facility "corrupt" and the facility's head a "liar," it appears that Britney's biggest problem is the time at which the facility calls.

"She's a pop star and you can't expect her to be awake at 7 or 8 in the morning," Kiley told the court. When the judge pointed out that he had "no doubt" that Ms. Kiley would respond in a timely manner at that hour, she retorted, "But you're not a pop star with a number one album!"

Rather than point out that Britney's album was actually a distant number two on this week's Billboard list, the judge said "This isn't about who's a rock star... We're all bending over backwards to get her to behave like ordinary people."

Also at issue is Britney's apparent cell phone issues. Both Kaplan and the judge mentioned problems of changed phone numbers, lost phones, assistants answering and then hanging up, calls being forwarded to random numbers and so on.

"Is there a special section in the family code dedicated to Ms Spears," Asked Kaplan. "Should the lab be on standby for when she calls and says 'I'm up now, I'm ready to receive visitors?'"

After a recess, during which the court was unable to secure a new testing facility, Kaplan asked that Britney no longer be allowed to drive the boys, and that if she's in the car with them, another person must drive. The judge shot this idea down, stating that it would in effect be a change to the custody ruling, but not without a bit of scolding for the beleaguered songstress.

"She's a mom. She needs to take responsibility," explained the judge. "It's not about Britney Spears getting up at 8:30am. It's about a court order... Do you want a tech standing by for her? Like a fireman ready to go when she's ready?"

In closing, the judge stressed the need for Britney and her attorney to come up with a dedicated number on which the singer could be reached at all times.

"You can change the number every day," explained the judge, saying that she must let Kaplan and the testing facility know of the change.

Explained the judge: "It comes down to: You get the call, you respond to the call, you get tested."


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