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Not a surprise: Sean will stay in Brazil for now

The calls and emails of congratulations came in to Mark DeAngelis on Wednesday, after a Brazilian federal appeals court ruled 3-0 that the son of his good friend David Goldman should be returned to his custody — and to the United States. But he has been following the case for too long to think it would be that easy. He responded to all who called or wrote that it was not over yet.

In fact, anyone who thought it was over certainly had not been following the case, in which nine-year-old Sean Goldman's maternal family has done everything in their considerable power to stall a series of decisions in David's favor. The latest: Supreme Federal Court Justice Marco Aurelio stayed the appeals court's decision until the higher court could decide whether Sean's grandmother's habeas corpus request that Sean should be allowed to testify in court will be granted.

"Business as usual in the Brazilian justice system," said DeAngelis. "A 3-0 decision, and one justice at the Supreme Court who happens to be friendly with these families pulls the plug on the whole thing." 

Some other notes from today's proceedings:

— The Supreme Federal Court will apparently not decide on the habeas corpus request until February.

— The maternal family's attorney, Sergio Tostes told the Brazilian press that he would be appealing the appeals court's ruling to the next level up, the Supreme Court of Justice.  

— Tostes also said David Goldman was welcome to spend Christmas with Sean.