'Baby Veronica' Custody Case: Timeline Of Events

Monday, August 19th 2013, 10:21 pm

By: News On 6

We've been getting a lot of questions about the history of the custody battle over little Veronica, a case that we've been covering for over two years, but that has been going on for nearly four.

Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor said the facts of the case are "hotly contested." We put together a timeline of events in the case and in the life of little Veronica.

December 2008 - Dusten Brown and Christy Maldonado got engaged

January 2009 - Maldonado tells Brown she's pregnant

May 2009 - Relationship is strained and Maldonado breaks off engagement

June 2009 - Maldonado and Brown start texting each other about child support and parental rights. Brown says he'll terminate his parental rights via text message. Maldonado then decides to place Veronica up for adoption; has an attorney call the Cherokee Nation to check Brown's tribal membership, but provides incorrect spelling of his name and incorrect birthday; Cherokee Nation says they don't have a record for anyone by that name and birthday

Sept. 15, 2009 - Veronica Rose is born, Matt and Melanie Capobianco take her to their home in South Carolina to begin adoption proceedings

January 2010 - When Veronica is 4 months old, the Capobiancos serve Brown with an adoption notice; Brown signs the adoption papers, claiming he thought he was giving custody of Veronica to Maldonado

January 2010 - The day after signing the papers, Brown calls an attorney and begins trying to reverse what he signed, subsequently requesting a stay of the adoption. Around the same time, the Cherokee Nation identified Brown as a registered member and Veronica as an "Indian child" as defined in the ICWA.

April 2010 - The Cherokee Nation intervenes in the litigation

September 2011 - South Carolina trial begins for adoption proceedings; family court denies the Capobiancos' adoption petition and awards custody to Brown; SC Supreme Court upholds the decision

December 31, 2011 - Veronica goes to live with Dusten in Oklahoma

1/4/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Adoption Case Sparks National Campaign

1/5/2012 Related Story: Cherokee Nation Defends Federal Law In Multi-State Child Custody Battle

August 2012 - SC Supreme Court denies request for rehearing the custody case

September 2012 - Capobiancos appeal SC Supreme Court decision to U.S. Supreme Court

April 2013 - Baby Veronica's case is argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

June 25, 2013 - SCOTUS says ICWA doesn't apply in the case, sends the case back to SC Supreme Court

6/25/2013 Related Story: Supreme Court Rules Indian Child Welfare Act Does Not Apply In Adoption Case

July 1, 2013 - Brown, his wife Robin and his parents all file adoption papers in Oklahoma

July 17, 2013 - SC Supreme Court orders the Capobiancos' adoption be fast-tracked and finalized

7/17/2013 Related Story: South Carolina Court Orders Baby Veronica Returned To Adoptive Parents

July 22, 2013 - Brown leaves for National Guard Training in Iowa

July 31, 2013 - SC Family Court finalizes the Capobiancos' adoption of Veronica

August 2, 2013 - The U.S. Supreme Court issues brief order turning away a final request from Dusten Brown and upholding the adoption and transition plan as final

August 4, 2013 - Brown misses a mandatory custody meeting with the Capobiancos in SC, OK National Guard said it would not make an exception and release Brown from training

August 5, 2013 - SC judge throws out transition plan for reintegrating Veronica with the Capobiancos and orders the girl be brought to SC immediately

August 10, 2013 - SC judge issues an arrest warrant for Dusten Brown for felony custodial interference.

August 12, 2013 - Brown turns himself in to Oklahoma authorities

8/12/2013 Related Story: Baby Veronica Dad Turns Self In To Oklahoma Authorities, Resists Extradition

August 13, 2013 - Governor Mary Fallin says she won't sign extradition papers to send him to SC until he his case has been argued in Oklahoma courts

August 14, 2013 - Capobiancos hold a news conference in Tulsa, explaining they've traveled to Oklahoma to get Veronica

August 16, 2013 - Brown and the Capobiancos attend hearings in Cherokee County District Court and Cherokee Nation tribal court; a mediation agreement is filed in district court

That brings us to Monday's protest at the state capitol, where members of several Native American tribes held demonstrations in support of Veronica staying with her biological father.

Veronica turns 4 years old in less than a month, and we'll be watching what happens between now and then.

8/19/2013 Related Story: Native American Protestors Rally At State Capitol In Support Of 'Baby Veronica'


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