A lawyer representing Joni Mitchell‘s longtime friend in her efforts to gain temporary conservatorship over the singer told a Los Angeles judge that Mitchell could be leaving the hospital soon. Following the brief hearing, Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III appointed Leslie Morris, Mitchell’s friend for over 40 years, as the singer’s conservator, putting her in charge of Mitchell’s post-hospital medical decisions, The Associated Press reports.
Morris’ attorney Alan Watenmaker cited Mitchell’s impending release as one of the reasons why Morris should receive emergency conservator powers. A lawyer appointed to represent Mitchell at the hearing also agreed that Morris should be named conservator. The specifics of Mitchell’s current condition and prognosis were not disclosed at the hearing. Although granted temporary conservatorship, Morris will have no control of Mitchell’s finances.
Mitchell was hospitalized on March 31st after being found unresponsive in her Los Angeles home; although the singer remained in the hospital, her website let fans know that Mitchell “continues to improve and get stronger each day.” However, after it was revealed that Morris sought conservatorship of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, rumors began to circulate that Mitchell was in a coma. Mitchell’s website, with permission from Morris, clarified that Mitchell was “alert” and still expected to make a full recovery.
“Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital – but she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected,” Mitchell’s site wrote in a statement. “The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her longtime friend Leslie Morris the authority – in the absence of 24-hour doctor care – to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital. As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts.”