Amanda Bynes in Psych Ward as Parents Ask for Conservatorship

Closeup of Amanda Bynes in 2009

Bynes in 2009

Actress Amanda Bynes on July 22 reportedly set fire to a Los Angeles driveway and was hauled over to the loony bin. In response, her parents are seeking a conservatorship of their daughter, alleging that she is unfit to look after herself.


Ante Upped

A judge on July 26 reportedly said he would wait to rule on the parents’ application, as Bynes’ two-week psychiatric lockdown has another week to go and he wanted to meet the 27-year-old in person.

Her parents’ causes for concern include an alleged slew of odd and possibly self-destructive behavior including keeping her Twitter feed full of crazy, driving drunk, allegedly throwing a bong out of a 36-story building, erratic driving including a hit-and-run and driving without a license, and wearing strange wigs in public.

Then she set the fire in a driveway near her parents’ home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. That cry for help involved a gas can, catching her own pants on fire, dousing her dog with gasoline, and running away when confronted by a neighbor.

The cops came and took her to a psychiatric hospital, where she was placed on a “5150 hold,” meaning she’s been involuntarily detained there because she’s a danger to herself or others, reports Entertainment Weekly. If this sounds familiar, you may remember Britney Spears’ implosion, way back in 2008.


Calling Her Bluff

Attorney Mina Sirkin headshot

Mina Sirkin

“California has a conservatorship proceeding whereby an adult can obtain the legal right to make personal, financial, or legal decisions for another adult by obtaining a court order,” explains California estate planning lawyer Mina Sirkin on her website. “In most states this procedure is called a guardianship.”

There are several types of conservatorship available. In Bynes’ case, her parents are seeking a conservatorship of the person and estate, Sirkin explains to Lynn and Richard Bynes must prove several things in order to take over their daughter’s affairs.

“For conservatorship of the person they have to show that she is a person who is unable to provide properly for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter,” Sirkin says. “For conservatorship of the estate, they have to show that she is substantially unable to manage his or her own financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence.” 

Now that things have gotten serious, we’ll see how much of Bynes’s behavior has been for show, and how much has been for real.


Second Hand Dealt Soon

The Byneses will return to court on Aug. 9 to see about getting a temporary conservatorship, after Amanda’s two-week 5150 hold is up, and a hearing for permanent conservatorship is set for Oct. 1.

The Byneses will put on evidence at the Aug. 9 hearing. If Bynes appears and objects to the conservatorship, she’ll be assigned a public defender to represent her, Sirkin explains.

While a majority of the conservatorship cases she sees involve the elderly, “there are quite a few which involve younger persons such as Bynes,” Sirkin says.

If her parents are successful, they’ll need to submit a “care plan” to the court as well as an annual accounting. 

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