Solicitor Scarlett Wilson today issued the following statement regarding notice by the Charleston County Family Court to represent the court to assist in the return of Baby Veronica to her parents:
I have received numerous telephone calls and emails regarding my involvement with returning the custody of a child known publicly as “Baby Veronica” from Oklahoma to her parents in Charleston. There are many legal reasons, starting with the UCCJEA (the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) and including the laws of the States of Oklahoma and South Carolina that law enforcement cannot “swoop down” into Oklahoma and immediately whisk Baby V home to her parents. Our states have agreed upon legal procedures to enforce custody matters and it is my responsibility to follow them.
In the late afternoon of Monday, August 5, I received notice that the Family Court had sought my counsel in this matter. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, I am required to act on behalf of the Court and I am specifically precluded from acting on behalf of any party. Under the Act, I am allowed to pursue any lawful action including criminal avenues and civil proceedings I deem necessary to locate and return the child in pursuit of the Court’s order.
It is a very unusual and rare circumstance for a Solicitor to represent a court in a legal matter. In my duties as the Court’s representative, I have consulted with the Court, the Sheriff and also with the Attorneys representing the lawful parents of Baby V. We all have worked closely together since Monday to bring about the safe return of Baby V home to her parents. That is still our goal and we are working day and night to achieve it.
While there is more than one path for me to take in pursuing the safe return of Baby V to her family, I have refrained from some options at the request of Baby V’s parents and the Court. I have filed motions and received orders from the Court to help bring Baby V home. These items remain under seal, and at this point, and I am not at liberty to discuss them. Similarly, I have consulted with and advised law enforcement regarding the criminal aspects of this case. Under the Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor Rule (Rule 3.8) I am not at liberty to discuss the law enforcement angles we are pursuing.
Sheriff Al Cannon also addressed the case this afternoon during a brief telephone conversation with The Post and Courier:
We’re working closely with the Solicitor’s Office. We met a couple of days ago. We have all been working diligently ever since on the case. We’re doing everything we can to address the situation, and we’re proceeding as expeditiously as possible. We ... have explored every option. But I’m not going to get into any of the specifics.
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