Even with the return of “Baby Veronica” to the custody of her adoptive parents, the ongoing litigation has yet to reach an end. The most recent iteration in the long-running child custody battle moved back to South Carolina, after she was turned over in Oklahoma by her father, Dusten Brown to the adoptive couple, the Capobiancos.
There, a court was conducting a hearing on contempt of court sanctions related to the child custody case that ranged from South Carolina to Oklahoma and the U.S. Supreme Court, against Brown and the Cherokee Nation. Apparently, according to the Tulsa World, the court could impose significant monetary sanctions on Brown and the Cherokee Nation, including attorney’s fees, fines and living expenses.
It is uncertain exactly what went on during the hearing, as the court was closed to the press and the proceedings were under seal, but Brown’s attorney made a statement requesting the parties end the litigation and look to the best interests of Veronica.
She noted that continuing litigation will not allow a relationship to develop between Brown and the Capobiancos, and she urged the parties to “move on.” The adoptive parents have indicated that they are open to the prospect of Brown’s involvement in Veronica’s life.
Brown also still faces criminal charges, and has an extradition hearing in Oklahoma next week that could send him to South Carolina for a felony complaint of custodial interference.
In addition, appeals are still pending in Oklahoma on questions related to adoption. The best interest of a child may at times be an amorphous concept, but it is difficult to imagine how addition litigation will foster those interests.