Dusten Brown and Cherokee Nation fight court order - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Dusten Brown and Cherokee Nation fight court order

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Dusten Brown and Veronica. Dusten Brown and Veronica.

The home where "Baby Veronica" will live is no longer at the center of a heated lawsuit, but instead the courts are questioning who will pay for certain fees through an order to show cause.

The Cherokee Nation interprets that to mean the Capobiancos are suing Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation for expenses of up to $32,000 per day of litigation.

Learn more about Veronica's story here.

In a written statement Cherokee Nation Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo said, "The Family Court, in a memo, directed that the attorneys for the adoptive parents immediately file a "Rule to Show Cause." In response to that memo, the Adoptive Couple filed a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause and a Request for Sanctions in which they asked that Mr. Brown be jailed until he comply with the Order, that Mr. Brown and Cherokee Nation be fined every day (up to $32,000.00 per day) until they complied with the order and that Mr. Brown and Cherokee Nation pay the attorney fees and the "expenses" of the Capobiancos."

"They are intentionally misleading you," attorney Lori McGill said.

McGill, the attorney for the biological mother, works on the side of the adoptive couple.

She said, "That fine is not something that's on the table, it's something the court could have imposed in order to coerce the Cherokee Nation to stop financially assisting brown and to stop hiding Veronica on trust land, in other words, to get them to comply the court could have awarded that and that wouldn't go to us or to the Capobiancos that goes to the court."

The Cherokee Nation confirms it was filed at the courts request but puts the responsibility of the filing on the Capobiancos. Therefore, insist the couple has the power to end the order to show cause at any time.

However, MicGill said they're following court orders to regain costs of following them to Oklahoma after a missed court date in early August where Brown failed to return Veronica to Charleston per a family court judge's orders.

"They would be well within their rights to sue on a number of different legal theories but they're not, they're not seeking damages and they're not seeking attorneys fees or expenses for the years of litigation leading up to this point. Only at the point in which they took, you know Brown and the Cherokee Nation took the law into their own hands," McGill said.

By law all adoption cases are sealed and this order is still under that adoption case... so the clerks office says we may never have access to the court documents.

Lawyers for the Capobiancos released the following statement in response to comments made in the media from Shannon Jones, attorney for Veronica's biological father and false accusations that the Capobiancos are suing Mr. Brown:

"We are compelled to issue this statement in response to recent comments made by Shannon Jones, Dusten Brown's attorney, claiming that Mr. Brown was under no legal duty to comply with the orders of the South Carolina courts requiring Mr. Brown to return Veronica to her parents following two orders of the South Carolina Supreme Court rejecting his legal position. It is indefensible and dangerous for any lawyer to suggest that a biological parent may ignore a court custody order with impunity simply because he has not yet exhausted all possible appeals or other court challenges.

And that is why, when the South Carolina courts ordered the Capobiancos to hand over their daughter on December 30, 2011, the Capobiancos voluntarily complied the following day. They followed the rule of law, despite their pending appeals and their total devastation at having to hand over their daughter to a biological father Veronica didn't know—a man who had abandoned Veronica before birth and who testified that he wanted nothing to do with her so long as her birth mother took complete responsibility for her. Ms. Jones' recent claims that the Capobiancos delayed complying with that order are false. (see, e.g., 9/29 Tulsa World coverage)

Thus it is no wonder that Ms. Jones and the rest of Mr. Brown's and Cherokee Nation's legal team asked the Supreme Court of South Carolina and the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the South Carolina order requiring Mr. Brown to transfer custody. Mr. Brown's attorneys recognized that Mr. Brown was legally required to return Veronica to her parents by requesting a stay from the South Carolina court itself and the U.S. Supreme Court. Significantly, not one of the highly-regarded Supreme Court lawyers who represented Mr. Brown and the Tribe has defended the willful refusal to obey the South Carolina orders between August 4, 2013 and September 23, 2013. Mr. Brown's conduct in flouting South Carolina's legal system was particularly egregious because he had physical custody of Veronica only because of an order, later determined to be erroneous, of the South Carolina court.

Ms. Jones also has expressed distress that Mr. Brown and his Tribe may be liable for the legal and other expenses they forced the Capobiancos and the State of South Carolina to incur in their efforts to enforce the orders of the South Carolina court. Contrary to many reports, the Capobiancos have not initiated a separate law suit to sue Mr. Brown or the Cherokee Nation. The contempt proceedings were initiated by the South Carolina family court for expenses associated in response to a willful violation of that courts orders. In the pending contempt proceedings, the Capobiancos' attorneys are seeking to recoup fees and expenses directly caused by Mr. Brown's and the Cherokee Nation's willful defiance of the orders of the South Carolina courts beginning on August 4. The Capobiancos' lawyers have been working tirelessly for more than a year, ultimately securing a favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision, followed by favorable decisions from the South Carolina Supreme Court, a final decree of adoption on July 31, favorable decisions from two separate Oklahoma district courts, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court."

 

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