OKLAHOMA CITY —
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Brown could not claim parental rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act and returned the custody case to South Carolina court. Shortly thereafter, the South Carolina court ruled the Capobiancos should be the rightful parents of Veronica, who was still living with her biological father in Nowata.
The case then went to Nowata, as the South Carolina case had to be “domesticated” by an Oklahoma court, and Nowata is the city of Brown’s residence. The South Carolina court also issued a warrant for Brown’s arrest for custodial interference.
Brown surrendered himself in Sequoyah County, where yet another hearing is set for Sept. 12.
At some point in the swiftly moving proceedings, Veronica began living with Brown’s parents on Indian trust land in Tahlequah, involving the Cherokee Nation District Court and the Cherokee County Court.
Cherokee County District Judge Holli Wells recused herself from the case, and it has apparently been reassigned to a judge in Muskogee County. Both the Browns and the Capobiancos appeared in Muskogee for a hearing Wednesday afternoon, just prior to Fallin’s signing the extradition order.
A gag order has been issued and the case records have been sealed, preventing any of the interested parties from speaking.
“As governor, I am committed to upholding the rule of law,” said Fallin. “As a mother, I believe it is in the best interests of Veronica to help end this controversy and find her a permanent home. For both of these reasons, I have signed the extradition order to send Mr. Brown to South Carolina.”