'Baby Veronica' Custody Battle Moves To Tulsa Courtroom

Monday, September 16th 2013, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

The custody battle over little Veronica moved to a Tulsa courtroom Monday.

Veronica's biological father, Dusten Brown, and her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, attended a hearing at the court of civil appeals.

The courts are not allowing anyone to talk about the case publicly, so we can't be sure exactly what happened in Monday's hearing.

We do know Brown and the Cherokee Nation have been fighting for a "best interest" hearing for Veronica, but sources tell News On 6 this may have been a mediation hearing.

Brown's attorney, Clark Brewster, told us the judge has asked that he not talk about Monday's hearing.

Online records show this case was assigned to the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday.

The Capobiancos were present at Veronica's birth and raised her for more than two years. The South Carolina Supreme Court ordered them to turn her over to biological father, Dusten Brown, in January 2011, citing the Indian Child Welfare Act. In June, after the Capobiancos appealed, the U.S. Supreme Court said Brown was not entitled to custody of Veronica based on ICWA.

Special Coverage: 'Baby Veronica' Case

The Capobiancos' adoption of the girl was finalized in South Carolina on July 31.

Immediate transfer of custody to the couple was ordered by a judge on August 6, and the Capobiancos came to Oklahoma to take their adoptive daughter home.

A couple of days later, the families fought went a Cherokee County judge, then a Cherokee Nation tribal judge.

A Nowata judge decided to uphold the South Carolina ruling and demanded Brown turn the little girl over to the Capobiancos.

Brown filed an 11th hour appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to keep Veronica in the state.

While that case is pending, the Cherokee County judge decided to remove herself from the custody battle, sending the fight to Muskogee.

This case was also in Sequoyah County, which is where Dusten Brown turned himself in after South Carolina issued a warrant for his arrest on a felony charge of custodial interference. He is expected to go before a judge for that in October.

Veronica turned 4 years old Sunday. That means both families fighting for her have spent equal time with Veronica.

9/9/2013 Related Story: Governors Of South Carolina, Oklahoma Discuss 'Baby Veronica' Case