Smith's Mom Vying For Body And Baby

All of the major figures in the Anna Nicole Smith case have now gone to the Bahamas except for Smith herself.

In at least a temporary victory for Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, a Florida appeals court ruled Monday that Smith's remains can't be taken to the Bahamas for burial until judges reconsider her desire to have her daughter buried in Texas.

Even though Smith appeared on TV and declared her hatred for her mom, Arthur is petitioning to get custody of her granddaughter, 5-month-old Dannielynn.

Arthur's attorneys are arguing that as Smith's mother, she has the right to take care of her granddaughter and bury her daughter.

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"This mother is a mother who deserves the right to bury the remains of her child," Arthur's attorney Roberta Mandel told CBS News correspondent Bianca Solorzano.

In the Bahamas, ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead also continues to fight for custody of Dannielynn.

"I hope I get to see her and have her soon," he said.

According to some reports, Birkhead may have visited the baby in the Bahamas over the weekend. Birkhead, Arthur and the attorney for Smith's partner, Howard K. Stern, arrived at Supreme Court in Nassau, for what's expected to be a long custody fight. The first day in closed court was procedural, but despite the media spectacle outside the closed courtroom, not much happened inside.

"The court ordered procedure, simple filing of pleadings, response to pleadings. That's all we did today was procedure," said Stern's attorney, Wayne Munroe. "How much time to file your pleadings, how much to respond to pleadings, things of that nature. It's logistics."

Nonetheless, Birkhead's attorney Debra Opri left court optimistic and said she anticipates DNA test orders. Birkhead gave reporters a thumbs up.

To add to the legal tangle, a hearing on Smith's unresolved property is scheduled for March 14. A Bahamian court will review whether or not Smith owned the home where Stern is still living with Dannielynn. A man named Ben Thompson claims he is the rightful owner.

"We'll leave the status quo as it is and give Howard K. Stern time to put his act together," said Thompson's attorney, Godfrey Pinder.
  • Caitlin Johnson

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