Spears arrives at courthouse, then leaves


Britney Spears walked into a downtown courthouse on Wednesday and was expected to plead for renewed rights to visit her two little boys, but she left the building before reaching the courtroom.

Less than half an hour after she went into the building, she left it, Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini said.

Parachini said Spears was driven away from the building.

The hearing, however, continued behind closed doors.

Spears, 26, and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, 29, are battling over custody of their two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.

An emergency court hearing was requested to discuss the pop star's visitation rights. Commissioner Scott Gordon suspended her visitation rights last month and gave custody to Federline. Gordon kept that order in effect during another emergency hearing last week. Spears also arrived at court for that hearing but then quickly turned around and left, chased by photographers.

The hearings followed a bizarre early-January standoff at Spears' home when she refused to return the boys after a visit and was briefly hospitalized.

On Wednesday, Gordon called the Spears case at about 9:15 a.m., allowing Spears attorney Anne Kiley to go out and try to find her client. She appeared about 20 minutes later and Gordon called the matter again.

"Is your client present?" he asked Kiley.

"No, she's not," the lawyer replied.

"Is she going to be present?" the commissioner asked.

"I don't know," Kiley said.

The commissioner then said there were motions filed by both sides but he didn't indicate what they were.

Federline and his attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, were in the courtroom. Federline was sworn in as a witness and Kaplan asked that the courtroom be cleared of spectators and the press.

Spears evaded swarms of paparazzi by arriving and leaving through a basement parking garage under the courthouse. She wore bright lipstick, sunglasses, gold platform shoes and a very short black cocktail dress with a ruffled hem.

Federline, clad in a tan suit and open-necked shirt and sporting a mohawk haircut, arrived a half hour before Spears.