|Couple in Baby Veronica Case Want Father to Pay Legal Fees|
|By GILLIAN MOHNEY (@gillianmohney)||Sep 29, 2013, 6:07 PM|
The adoptive parents at the center of the custody battle over baby Veronica are asking that the child's biological father and the Cherokee Nation pay the couple's legal expenses.
The long custody battle between Matt and Melanie Capobianco, and Veronica's birth father, Dustin Brown, centered around the Indian Child Welfare Act and raged on for more than two years before finally coming to a tentative close earlier this week when Veronica was returned to the Capobianco's care.
According to the Tulsa World, the Capobiancos filed court documents accusing Brown of "willful disobedience and complete disregard" of the law and seeking compensation for the legal fees and other expenses from Brown and the Cherokee nation.
Brown, who is of Cherokee descent, gained custody of Veronica at the very end of 2011 after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that he had a prevailing right to claim custody based on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which aimed to keep Indian children from being placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.
Brown had turned to the Cherokee Nation for help in the court fight for his daughter.
In August Brown was arrested after refusing to turn over Veronica to the Capobiancos following rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the South Carolina State Supreme Court.
Veronica was returned to the Capobiancos on Monday of last week.
On Wednesday evening, Brown released a statement saying that having Veronica taken from his home was "more painful than words can describe."
"Veronica is my child, my flesh and blood, and I love her more than life itself," Brown said. "Mommy and Daddy love you and miss you so much."
Veronica's birth mother, who is not of Cherokee descent, has maintained that she wanted the Capobiancos to have custody.