Britney driven away before entering court

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) Her car drove to a church in Studio City near the border of Sherman Oaks. Spears then ran inside. After a few minutes, she emerged and returned to her car and was driven away.

Britney Spears then drove to a shopping center on Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. After spending some time there, she then left and was driven home.

It is unclear what prompted the pop singer to get back into her car and leave the courthouse. There was a heavy police presence outside the downtown L.A. courthouse to keep the dozens of news crews and paparazzi from blocking sidewalks and courthouse entrances. A number of police were out on bicycles and motorcycles as well.

Spears does not have to be in court Monday, but some legal experts and celebrity watchers thought she might attend the hearing to defend herself.

Eight or nine witnesses are expected to testify at the hearing about the night of Jan. 3, when Spears refused to hand over her two children to her ex-husband's security guard. Among those expected to testify are police and emergency medical technicians who were called to her home.

Kevin Federline arrived in a black Range Rover about an hour before the hearing began. Photographers staked out at another entrance came running down the street to get a shot of him as he went into a parking garage used by employees. He was sporting a pinstripe suit and a Mohawk.

The judge did allow reporters in the courtroom in the beginning of the hearing but then closed the hearing to the press almost immediately. At issue is whether Spears should have her visitation rights reinstated.

Nearly two weeks ago police were called to Spears' Studio City home by a court-appointed monitor when Spears refused to hand over her two sons to her ex-husband's security guard. She locked herself in a room with one of the boys for nearly three hours. Paramedics then took Spears by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for observation.

The next day Spears' visitation rights were suspended. Attorneys for her ex-husband Kevin Federline got an emergency order giving him temporary sole physical custody of Jayden James and Sean Preston.

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