South Carolina court drops contempt charge against Dusten Brown
Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation reach an agreement with Baby Veronica's adoptive parents.
Dusten Brown: The deal won’t affect a
criminal complaint of custodial interference, which
Brown still faces in South Carolina.
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
By MICHAEL OVERALL Tulsa World Staff Writer
A South Carolina judge dropped a contempt of court case against
Baby Veronica's biological father Thursday, bringing a definitive end to
the drawn-out custody battle there.
The case was dropped "with prejudice," meaning it can never be
refiled, after Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation reached an agreement
with the adoptive parents. No settlement was paid, officials said.
Matt and Melanie
Capobianco had been seeking compensation for expenses they racked up
during a seven-week visit to Oklahoma last year to fight for custody of
their 4-year-old adopted daughter, according to previous reports.
won't affect a criminal complaint of custodial interference, which Brown
still faces in South Carolina, even though authorities are no longer
seeking his extradition from Oklahoma.
It also won't affect a
separate civil case here in Oklahoma, where the Capobiancos' attorneys
are seeking more than $1 million in fees and expenses from Brown and his
tribe, which fought alongside him to keep Veronica.
An agreement in South
Carolina, however, might suggest that a similar resolution is possible
for that case, which was filed in Oklahoma's Nowata County, where Brown
and his wife live.
"I hope so, but I don't
know," said Chrissi Nimmo, an assistant attorney general for the
Cherokee Nation. "We'll have to see what happens."
Meanwhile, both the Capobiancos and the Browns have steadfastly stayed away from the media.
Brown hasn't spoken
publicly since early October, when he spoke at a brief press conference
to announce that he was dropping all legal efforts to get Veronica back.
The Capobiancos appeared briefly on the "Dr. Phil" television show in late October but have not given interviews since.
At the time, they
confirmed that Brown and his family were still in contact with Veronica,
although they didn't elaborate on what kind of contact or how much.
There's no information on whether such contact is still happening.
The Capobiancos arranged a private adoption with Brown's ex-fiancee and came to Oklahoma for Veronica's birth in 2009.
Brown, who was about to
deploy to Iraq with the Oklahoma National Guard, didn't find out about
the adoption until Veronica was 4 months old.
He says he was tricked into a signing a document that said he wouldn't contest the adoption.
With help from the
Cherokee Nation, he gained custody of Veronica in 2011, but the
Capobiancos appealed that decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme
The justices ruled that
Brown didn't have standing under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act,
but they sent the case back to a South Carolina court for a custody
ruling, and the legal battles continued for months.
Brown refused orders to
return Veronica to South Carolina until the Oklahoma Supreme Court
issued an unfavorable ruling Sept. 23, when he gave the girl back to the
Thank you for keeping us updated on Dusten and Veronica Brown. My heart is still as broken, nearly four months later, as it was on the day she was taken.ReplyDelete
Thanks Robin, I will keep posting any updates on this tragedy.Delete
Well thank goodness he won't go to jail now, but I'm still furious the spoiled brat Crapobianco's did not have the grace or clarity to leave the situation alone. I'm sorry to say, but I wish Dusten kept on fighting for Veronica because media attention is not as harmful as her having to live with immature psychos like them until she is 18.ReplyDelete
Reading this news, I'm actually thinking the Capobiancos are afraid of any media now - and yes, it's horrible Dusten had to give up his fight - but I know he's still devastated!Delete
"I'm actually thinking the Capobiancos are afraid of any media now "Delete
That surprises me. After all, NPR just gave a big boost to people like the Crapobiancos. Once again, it has been reaffirmed that the only voice worth listening to, the only voice that matters in transracial adoption is the voice of WHITE adoptive parents.
I wish DB had continued his fight, too. But I'm sure there was more going on behind the scenes that the general public doesn't know about. He vowed to fight until there was nothing left to fight. I trust that he did just that.
They should be. More than half the world hates them. I hope they don't do anything to alter Ronnie's appearance. I worry that is why they want all that money. Maybe they don't want to use the media now because it would actually interfere with their plan to further destroy her connecting with Dusten again when she is older. I don't think they are letting him see her. I swear, sometimes I just wish he'd grab her and run to another country. I would.ReplyDelete
Anonymous: I do think the Capobiancos know how most of us feel about them. That's why they are not basking in the glow of the media spotlight anymore. I would bet they were advised to drop out of sight and let things cool down. (Believe me, Nightlight is reinventing itself or going out of business.)ReplyDelete
That little girl changed the world!
The Capobiancos got what they paid for - for the next 14 years anyway.
Keep Ronni in your prayers - every day, every day.
From what I understand the cs are keeping their promise to keep the Browns in Veronicas lifeReplyDelete
To be honest, I had hoped for this. If they truly care about Veronica, they'd keep Dusten as a constant in her life. Open adoption is good for children and not for adoptive parents.Delete
Tomorrow is Ronni's 5th birthday. Only 13 more years and she can reunite entirely without legal battles with her loving, caring, biological father. My grandson's 5th birthday is only five days later than hers. I can not imagine him not being able to see his loving biological parents.ReplyDelete
Yes, anonymous, it's a dream for me that Ronni sees her daddy often, but only a dream.ReplyDelete
I do not believe that most of the world hates the Crapobianco, in fact I would not go as far as to say that most of Oklahoma does not like these folks, Most logical and non-emotional people looks at the facts of this case and came to the same conclusion that the courts did, Dustin gave up his right, then in hind sight changed his mind, which cannot and should not be allowed, I applauded the courts for getting this case right and the Crapobianco's for taking their daughter who they love and who, by the video shown, loved and missed them very much and trying to continue on with their life which was unjustly disrupted.ReplyDelete
NO! Logic and non emotional people decide fate of a Fathers rights! Yikes. Why is there a need for adoption of Children with capable families? I know there are plenty of Children with no family in need of adoption. Why should there be a loop hole or hind sight when the subject Child has a capable blood family better yet a blood father expressing desire to raise his child. I thought adoption was for children that did not have a capable family.Delete
The SUPREME Indian 1% blood over any amount of other .........you are a sick bunch who have so little Indian blood left in your veins that you are anything BUT Indian but use what is left to demand demand demand !ReplyDelete
Just listened to the radio lab episode. My question is, Ms Moldonado says she asked Dusten if he wanted to pay child support or sign away his rights and he chose to sign. He says he assumed the baby would be with her bio mom, didn't know what would happen to him in Iraq, and thought he might reunite with Moldonado when he returned. Which to me, begs these questions.ReplyDelete
1. Dusten, if you thought she would be with her bio mom and you might reunite later, why did you not want to pay child support?
2. Dusten, if you were willing for her to be raised by her bio mom who is not a registered member of a tribe, why were you unwilling for her to be raised by the adoptive parents, also not members of a tribe, and why should the Indian child welfare act be involved when you were willing for her to live with a non- Indian?
It is obvious that Brown must have wanted access to his child or he would not have tried with great difficulty to gain custody. He was wrong there is no doubt, but it seems he did not want his child to live with anyone other than her parent. He used the tools at his disposal to gain custody of his child. In my opinion icwa was a tool he used. It is obvious the bio mom was not forthright with the info by going in the hospital under an assumed name. All the while the couple also sought to hide from Brown their true intent. However the victim is the child and I don't know how she will feel when she is older.Delete