Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
OKLAHOMA CITY An Oklahoma State Supreme Court referee heard arguments today on the Veronica Brown custodial hearing in the ongoing battle between Cherokee biological father, Dusten Brown and the non-Native South Carolina adoptive couple.
With a gag order in place, both sides did not speak to the media as they left the hearing that lasted about one hour and twenty minutes.
Last Friday, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to an order that was handed down by the Nowata County District Court earlier that day.
A "stay" is a temporary stoppage of a lower court's ruling.
With the stay in place, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court referee heard the case today and is expected to make a recommendation that may or may not be agreed to by the full Oklahoma State Supreme Court. The state's highest court could potentially make their own decision that differs from the referee's recommendation.
Attorneys for the state of South Carolina petitioned the Oklahoma State Supreme Court to file a brief on behalf of the adoptive couple. The referee granted them until this Thursday, September 5, to do so.
An Amicus Curiate Brief, which is offered by someone who is not party to a case, but can do so because of information that bears on the case, is already prepared on behalf of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. In terse language that will be rejected by American Indians, the Amicus Curiate Brief reads in part:
“South Carolina also has a compelling interest in ensuring the prompt return of a South Carolina child to her adoptive parents and ensuring Mr. Brown is held responsible for criminally withholding Veronica Rose Capobianco from her parents for nearly a month.”
Brown and Veronica are tribal citizens of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Brown has been relentlessly fighting for the right to raise his daughter, Veronica, for since he returned from service in Iraq, where he was awarded medals for his service defending his country.
Read the full Amicus Curiate Brief here »
posted September 3, 2013 7:10 pm edt