National groups claim Veronica's civil rights violated


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Updated: 7/22/2013 4:45 pm Published: 7/22/2013 4:41 pm


Three national groups are alleging 3-year Veronica’s civil rights have been violated by the South Carolina court.

The Native American Rights Fund, the National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Child Welfare Association dispute the state Supreme Court’s right to take custody away from the biological father Dusten Brown without a best interest hearing.

Veronica currently lives in Nowata with Brown. He won custody in 2011 using the Indian Child Welfare Act. Prior to that a South Carolina couple was in the process of adopting Veronica and was raising her.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the decision and last week the South Carolina court awarded custody to the child's adoptive parents.

Brown and the Cherokee Nation have filed to have the case reheard.

“It is very troubling that the South Carolina Supreme Court would move to terminate the parental rights of a man who has proven to be nothing but a fit and loving father, without even holding a hearing to determine what is in his own child’s best interests,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “What is best for Veronica has not even been considered by the court. We pray the South Carolina Supreme Court grants our request for a due process hearing to determine what is in this child’s best interests.”



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