The Oklahoma Supreme Court says it's declining to take jurisdiction over the adoption dispute involving a Cherokee girl and has dissolved a stay that was keeping the girl with her father in Oklahoma.
It wasn't immediately clear whether young Veronica would remain in the Cherokee Nation or return to South Carolina. The Cherokee Nation declined commenting to News 2 because they said they were not clear what happens next.
A gag order has forbidden anyone in the case to disclose details of the rulings. However, the motions are published in public records.
The tribal court has found that Matt and Melanie Capobianco of South Carolina have no valid claim to the 4-year-old. The girl's father, Dusten Brown, claims federal law favors his keeping custody of the child, but the U.S. Supreme Court has said the Indian Child Welfare Act does not apply to this case.
Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation. He's been fighting the Capobiancos for custody of Veronica for years. The South Carolina couple was finalized as her adoptive parents this summer.
In August the Capobiancos went to go to Oklahoma in an effort to bring Veronica back to South Carolina. Monday News 2 received photo evidence that they have been in contact with the now 4-year-old child since then.
The spokesperson for the Capobiancos said in a written statement, “the Capobianco family's long legal nightmare finally has come to an end. Matt and Melanie cannot wait to bring Veronica home and begin the healing process as a reunited family. Their hope now is that the Brown family and Cherokee Nation will return Veronica peacefully and voluntarily, rather than following through with their previous threats to continue to ignore court orders and place Veronica in a dangerous and traumatic situation.”
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office, who once before sent deputies to Oklahoma in case of an immediate move in this case, now declined commenting on their next role.