Britney Spears was nowhere to be seen today (Jan. 14) as a Los Angeles court hearing convened in her child custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Britney Spears was nowhere to be seen today (Jan. 14) as a Los Angeles court hearing convened in her child custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Federline and his lawyer were on hand as Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon began the hearing, which was scheduled after Gordon earlier this month suspended Spears' right to visit her sons.

Gordon allowed reporters into the courtroom for about one minute before he announced that the hearing was being closed.

The commissioner granted a motion from Spears' attorneys to quash a subpoena, but there was no information given about what the subpoena involved or to whom it had been issued.

A throng of photographers and reporters waited outside the downtown courthouse to see if Spears would come to what one attorney described as "the most significant hearing in the case so far." Law enforcement officers watched over the scene.

Spears has had trouble making recent court dates. On Dec. 12, she called in sick for a court-ordered deposition, then arrived nearly two hours late on its rescheduled date, Jan. 3.

"I don't know if she will be there" today, Kevin Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told the Associated Press. "You can't phone this one in."

Police and emergency medical technicians who were summoned to her home the night of Jan. 3 in a standoff involving her refusal to return the boys to ex-husband Federline will testify Monday, probably behind closed doors, Kaplan said.

If Spears comes to court, Kaplan said she would be expected to testify. "She will have the opportunity to persuade the court that she can have some visitation under monitored conditions," he said.

Phone and e-mail messages requesting comment from Spears' attorneys Sunday afternoon were not immediately returned.

Kaplan said he knew it was only a temporary measure when he obtained emergency court orders two weeks ago granting sole physical and legal custody to Federline.

Police were called by a court appointed monitor on Jan. 3 when Spears refused to hand over Jayden James, 1, and Sean Preston, 2, to Federline's security guard. She locked herself in a room with one of the boys.

Spears was taken to a hospital in an ambulance chased by photographers and was placed on an involuntary hold on grounds she was a danger to herself or others. Spears left Cedars-Sinai Medical Center a day and half later.

The day after the incident, Kaplan presented papers to Commissioner Scott Gordon, who awarded sole legal and physical custody of the boys to Federline and suspended Spears' visitation rights.

Kaplan said if visitation is restored, it would be under more restrictions than those originally imposed by Gordon.


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