Contempt of court charges dropped against Veronica’s birth father


Staff reports The Post and Courier January 16, 2014

 Contempt of court charges against Dusten Brown, Veronica’s birth father, have been dropped, according to an Oklahoma newspaper.

Veronica, now 4 years old, was caught in the middle of an internationally publicized custody dispute involving her Native American heritage.

Brown, who lives in Oklahoma, faced contempt charges for refusing to comply with a Charleston County Family Court order to return Veronica to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco of James Island.

The court dropped that charge Thursday, according to the Tulsa World.

Brown still faces a criminal complaint of custodial interference in South Carolina.

Gov. Nikki Haley dropped efforts to extradite him, but the warrant is still active.

Brown also remains part of an Oklahoma civil case in which the Capobiancos’ attorneys are seeking to recoup more than $1 million in fees and legal expenses incurred during the custody battle.

Veronica’s birth mother gave her up for adoption to the Capobiancos shortly after she was born in September 2009.

Brown, who is part Cherokee, said his daughter was given up without his knowledge when he was getting ready to deploy to Iraq. Veronica’s mother argued he wasn’t involved in her life.

With the help of attorneys from the Cherokee Nation, Brown sued for custody under the Indian Child Welfare Act, which was designed to keep Native American families intact. Brown gained custody in December 2011, when Veronica was 27 months old.

The Capobiancos appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and were reunited with Veronica last September, when she was 4.