Veronica custody dispute goes to Oklahoma Supreme Court

Cherokee Nation police outside the courthouse on Friday. (Photo: KOTV)
Cherokee Nation police outside the courthouse on Friday. (Photo: KOTV)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An Oklahoma man who is seeking custody of his Cherokee daughter has appealed a lower court decision to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Dusten Brown filed a writ of prohibition Friday in Oklahoma Supreme Court. The filing is appealing a decision from Nowata County District Court.

According to media reports, Veronica was to be turned over to Matt and Melanie Capobianco of James Island Friday afternoon , but an appeal by Brown, may have stopped the action.

KOTV in Tulsa is reporting that they learned of the appeal through the Oklahoma's appeals court web site that Veronica's biological father's attorneys filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and believe they granted a stay.

Brown and the Capobiancos were at a hearing at the Nowata courthouse in Oklahoma earlier on Friday. It was the latest step in the custody dispute over Veronica. The two sets of parents entered the courthouse shortly before 10 a.m.

According to the Tulsa World, Brown and the Capobiancos were in the court for an hour, but it's unclear what happened.

On Thursday, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said that two of his deputies and a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent were sent to Oklahoma in connection to the Baby Veronica case.

Cannon said the three officers will be in Oklahoma in case their assistance is needed in future court hearings involving Veronica.

Veronica's adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, have been in Oklahoma since Brown, Veronica's biological father, failed to appear for a court-ordered meeting in Charleston.

Brown was charged with custodial interference in the incident but Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has said she would not sign the extradition warrant until later this year.

The Capobiancos raised Veronica for two years before the SC Supreme Court ordered them to turn her over to her biological father, Dusten Brown, in January of 2011, citing the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Earlier this summer, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the law does not apply to this case. They reversed and remanded the decision back to South Carolina Supreme Court, which ruled Veronica should go back to the Capobiancos.

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