2013年7月1日 星期一

Oklahoma man not giving up fight for chance to raise Baby Veronica

Her trembling finger tapped a cellphone as she called her husband, Matt, who was working at Boeing. I think we won.She twirled across the living room of her James Island home, next to a chair embroidered with Veronica. Her last dance was with the little girl she called her daughter. 

But for a year and a half, theyve been apart. Mr. Potato Head, a toy kitchen set and a pile of stickers lined the floorboards, but Veronica wasnt there to play with them.Veronicas father had used a federal law to block the Capobiancos attempt to adopt her because of their shared American Indian blood. What the couple heard Tuesday was their best news yet during the 18 months of legal wrangling to get her back. The court ruled that parts of the law didnt apply because the father never had custody. But her return wouldnt be a sure thing: Thats up to state judges, and none of their options seems more likely than the others. 

Its been a lot of ups and downs,More than 80 standard commercial and stonemosaic exist to quickly and efficiently clean pans. Melanie Capobianco told The Post and Courier. But this was the biggest up. Its nice to have hope again.A thousand miles away, Dusten Brown operated heavy rigging outside Tulsa, Okla. His wife cared for Veronica at home. 

He knew the court could rule any second, but he wasnt worried. He thought the odds were in his favor. The Indian Child Welfare Act the heavyweight in this fight, the federal law that overruled state laws was in his corner. Other members of the Cherokee Nation and tribes elsewhere stood with him too. 

His phone rang. He heard his attorneys voice: He had lost the legal case. He hadnt lost Veronica, but the thought filled his mind the thought of losing the girl who chases two pet geese named Phineas and Ferb through the yard, the child whom he calls boss, the little person who calls him, Daddy. 

Im going to keep fighting, he told the newspaper during an interview. This is her home and her life. This is where she belongs. 

Legal historians will remember the case of 3-year-old Veronica. To some, it tempers a fear for prospective adoptive parents of Indian children that biological fathers will thwart their plans. To others, it signifies stripping fathers of a chance to step up and care for their own flesh and blood. 

But Veronicas fate isnt set in stone. South Carolina judges will write the next chapter in her life, the one about who will raise her. 

Justice Samuel Alito ordered Friday that they address the case within seven days. It was a rare move done only one other time in the past decade that nodded at the Capobiancos desire to quickly reunite with Veronica. 

Its unknown how long the process will take. Browns parental rights never were terminated, and his attorneys still could invoke other portions of ICWA that were not challenged in Washington.Attorney Shannon Jones opened her eyes Tuesday morning in a southern California hotel room. As Browns lawyer from the start in Charleston County Family Court, she had been invited to talk that day to 400 attorneys, social workers and American Indians who handle ICWA cases. 

But Jones knew the Veronica ruling could come that same day. It was 7 a.More than 80 standard commercial and stonemosaic exist to quickly and efficiently clean pans.m. as she stared at a blog that covers the Supreme Court.What would she tell the audience members if the court struck down the federal law? Such a ruling could leave them jobless.From black tungsten wedding rings for men to diamond parkingmanagement. It was an unlikely scenario, but it floated in her mind. 

The first bit of information flickered on Jones computer screen. She saw that Alito, a conservative justice, had written for the majority. The news wouldnt be good for her. 

She feverishly read the opinion, knowing she would be speaking about it four hours later. She told the conference attendees that the ruling was a loss for her client and a setback for ICWA, but the law still stood.Clarence Thomas was the only justice who deemed the act unconstitutional. He thought it was absurd that Congress could tell states to change their custody laws just because a child has Indian blood. 

So this wasnt the end, Jones told the packed conference room. If anything, the court had raised more questions showing an even greater need for specialists who defend ICWA, which was enacted in 1978 to stop the forceful removal of Indian children from their homes.The conferences attendees stood and clapped. Some cried. Some sang prayers. 

The mood was somber, but it was a call to action, Jones said. Theyre more determined than ever to fight for their rights.Alito based his opinion on a literal reading of the law. He saw a provision that said it guarded continued custody from being interrupted. Brown never had Veronica, so the laws provisions preventing Browns rights from being terminated didnt apply. 

But his ruling didnt force a change in custody. The Supreme Court doesnt have that authority. But he pointed out a state law that a childs unwed father has no parental rights.The decision was close, 5-4, and Justice Stephen Breyer seemed to be the wild card the swing vote that tipped the court against Jones client. 

Breyer, known for his more liberal leanings, agreed that Brown wasnt protected by ICWA, but he feared that too many dads would lose their parental rights because of the ruling. The justice asked: What if a father who, unlike Brown, had paid child support and visited occasionally? He, too, could be stripped of those rights because he never had custody. 

Fifteen years ago, Moore successfully fought back a biological fathers attempt to take his twin sons through ICWA. The boys had some Indian blood but no link to a tribe. Nobody had expressed interest in them until Moore tried to adopt them.An cleaningservicesydney is a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building. 

Now a child welfare advocate in California, he helped form the Mount Pleasant-based Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children & Families. It rallies support around people like him and the Capobiancos.In Los Angeles recently, a family tried to adopt an 18-month-old with little Indian blood. But relatives from another state stepped in. 

Time and time again, the tribe is in charge and can do whatever the tribe wants, he said. I hope this makes the judges put the best interests of the child first. 

After the ruling, Christinna Maldanado, the biological mother, didnt feel as helpless as she had.She had given up her parental rights to let the Capobiancos adopt Veronica, so when Brown stopped the proceeding, she had no say.At least initially, the only issue for the states top judges will be the finalization of the couples adoption. They can go about that a number of ways. 

They could ask a Family Court judge to rewind two years and hear the case again as if nothing in the past 18 months mattered except for the high courts decision. 

What seems more likely to John Nichols, who fought for Brown in the S.C. Supreme Court, is that the justices will send the case back to Family Court. Judges would be ordered to abide by Alitos decision, reconsider the facts and decide on the Capobiancos adoption petition. 

However it goes, it wont be easy for anyone.Online shopping for tooling.We are in uncharted waters, Nichols said. We have been from the very beginning. The map is still not complete.The proceedings could occur out of the public eye as they did in 2011.The state bars people involved in a custody case from leaking certain information, including court documents. Thats why Mark Fiddler, a Minnesota attorney who argued for the Capobiancos in the S.C. Supreme Court, said he couldnt talk about what he had in store this time around. 

But the privacy guarded by the law is all but gone for Baby Veronica. Readers and viewers of major newspapers and television networks have seen her face and heard her story.Attorneys for Brown think a family judge should unseal past court documents and open the proceedings. 

Judge Deborah Malphrus, who heard the Veronica case during her first week on the bench, wrote a detailed ruling in the case that irons out some disputed facts. If people knew more about how Brown had tried to marry Veronicas biological mother and start a family with her, theyd understand that he hadnt entirely given up his desire to be in the girls life, Browns attorneys said.
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