With the resignation of Britney Spears' attorney, many fans are hopeful that she can finally hire her own attorney.
That could be a major step towards dissolving her conservatorship, which has been her hope and dream all along.
After 13 years of this, Britney doesn't want a psychiatric evaluation. She just wants it ended by the court.
And it turns out that she has a very compelling reason for that.
Sam Ingham III offered his resignation just days ago, asking the court to appoint a new attorney.
The judge might select a new lawyer to represent Britney's interests ... or hold hearings to determine if Britney can hire her own.
Notably, Ingham is only one of many who have stepped away from Britney's conservatorship and career as it gains massive national attention.
However, Ingham has not yet filed a petition to begin the process of (hopefully) ending Britney's conservatorship.
What exactly is the delay?
For years, it was because Britney was seemingly unaware that she could ask the court to at least consider ending it.
Now, there's another holdup.
According to what an inside source tells People, Britney is leery of a mental health evaluation.
These are typically required, but Britney has adamantly asked that hers end without one. Why?
"She doesn't have much trust for the doctors that she has worked with so far," the insider explains.
Britney's mental health diagnosis has never been explicitly revealed, and her records are currently sealed.
According to the source: "She feels like they have failed her."
One can understand Britney's feelings on the matter, even without an understanding of the currently-under-wraps details.
First, Britney has endured this conservatorship for thirteen years, seemingly without any help from doctors or other experts.
Second, Britney has described being locked away in mental health rehab facilities, where she felt mistreated and imprisoned.
Britney has been doing phenomenally well, as a mother and as a human being.
She has successfully toured and enjoyed lucrative residencies as a performer.
So surely that should all count towards Britney's freedom, illustrating her capacity for independence ... right?
Unfortunately, that's not necessarily the case.
In fact, the fact that she does so well, that she is so capable of living her life, could be used against her.
That's right: under a conservatorship, being capable and competent can work to prolong your conservatorship.
The idea is that, to the courts, these displays of competence, self-management, and proficiency are evidence of flourishing under the conservatorship.
Unfortunately, historically, many courts have taken a "why mess with what's working?" approach.
This means that someone who has been stripped of their rights and freedoms remains under a conservatorship's thumb, sometimes indefinitely.
In other words: someone could have a mental heatlh crisis, be placed under a conservatorship, then wake up magically "cured."
They could then demonstrate their excellent mental health, their competence, their ability to work and manage themselves.
They could do this for weeks, for months, or for years ... and remain effectively a prisoner, stripped of many fundamental human rights.
Fans and conservatorship experts alike fear this outcome for Britney.
This has been the grim fate of many disabled people -- stripped of their rights and made prisoners in their own lives.
Britney's case isn't just about her or her rotten, awful father. It's shining a spotlight upon a systemic injustice that impacts thousands of Americans.