*****UPDATE***** In an interesting turn of events, it seems that the Barys are in the country illegally, and that they will have to be deported once the documentation is provided in court. Rifqa will most likely be able to apply for asylum. Read about Mr. Bary's illegal status here.
2:00pm - People are arriving for hearing for teenage runaway who converted from Islam to Christianity and fled her Ohio home for the safety of some Orlando church leaders. Today, the judge here and one in Ohio will hold a conference call to discuss how to proceed. Rifa Bary wants to stay in Florida, fearing for her personal safety. Her parents deny her claims that she will be the victim of an honor killing for leaving her family's faith. They say he is welcome to practice the religion of her choosing under their roof.
2:38pm - Overflow courtroom is almost full of Rifqa's supporters. Some are wearing t-shirts bearing Bible scripture. A small group held a short prayer circle in the lobby beforehand. Attorneys are not yet seated. Hearing will a few minutes late, it appears.
2:43pm - Rifqa and her attorney have arrived in court. She is wearing a black and white dress and appears calm. She is smiling and making small talk with Christa Bartholomew, her guardian at litem, or legal guardian assigned to this case. Her demeanor in the past has been much more subdued.
2:47 pm - judge learns mediation between Rifqa and her parents did not reach an agreement between parties.
2:50 pm - Jurisdiction is being talked about now. The courts in Orange County and Franklin County, Ohio are connected via a conference call.
2:55 pm - Ohio juvenile court judge Elizabeth Gill said she is willing to take on the case. Ohio DCF said Rifqa would be placed in a foster home, not returned to her parents.
3:00 pm - Rifq'a attorney John Stemberger is objecting to the case being turned over to Ohio. However, her guardian ad litem said Ohio is the proper place. She wants Rifqa's move back to Ohio to be "transitional," including a psychological screening. Bartholomew said "it's vital to protect this child from any additional emotional harm."
3:03 pm - Bartholomew said the parents should be held in contempt of court for not producing documents that show Rifqa is in the U.S. legally. The Bary family emigrated from Sri Lanka when she was much younger. "We don't need to move her just for the sake of moving her."
3:05 pm - Attorney Shayan Elahi said the parents have provided all the documents they have.
3:06 pm - Judge Daniel Dawson said he is concerned that months into this matter, this issue has not yet been resolved. "They have been trying to hold my clients in contempt for months, argued Elahi, calling the GAO 'abrasive.' " Dawson said he doesn't care about the motives of the GAO, but wants the papers turned over to the court.
3:09 pm - Judge Dawson plans to enforce his order for the passport and related papers, even if the case is moved to Ohio.
3:10 pm - "We still don't have a complete copy of (Rifqa's) passport," said Bartholomew. "I am very alarmed that it hasn' been provided," she added. She said she has learned there are more documents being withheld.
3:18 pm - Attorneys are talking about arrangements for a psychological evaluation and counseling. She is to see a local psychologist on Friday morning.
3:21 pm - Elahi said he suspects "a ploy" by Rifqa's legal representatives to delay her moving back home to Franklin County, Ohio.
3:22 pm - Stemberger suggested that Ohio court be told about the local psychologist, to ease their concerns that she is getting the best of care.
3:23 pm - Judge Dawson asked Ohio officials if they can schedule her evaluation soon after her arrival there. They say it could be done within 30 days. Her parents would also undergo evaluations.
3:25 pm - A report could be delivered within a couple of weeks, they said.
3:27 pm - Rifqa has been looking down for most of the hearing, writing into a tablet. She is paying attention to the comments being made in court.
3:29 pm - Dawson: The court is going to agree with Ohio that they have jurisdiction. Florida retains emergency jurisdiction.
3:35 pm - DCF said Rifqa will be escorted back to Ohio and turned over to Franklin County Children's Servies.
3:36 pm - Stemberger said it's important that her legal status be settled quickly. He said her parents have threatened to have her sent back to Sri Lanka "where mercy killings are practiced."
3:37 pm - Attorney Roger Weedem, who represents Rifqa's mother here, said Ohio is capable of handling immigration issues.
3:38 pm - Judge Dawson said he still concerned about this issue. "The court would feel lot better if these documents were here, before it gives up jurisdiction."
3:39 pm - Bartholomew said Rifqa Bary runs the risk of deportation, if takes public transportation anywhere in this country.
3:40 pm - Elahi is getting argumentative with the judge who insists on getting the immigration paperwork. "You and your client didn't supply it. I want it before this child leaves Florida," said Dawson.
3:41 pm - Elahi is accusing Rifqa's attorney is "religious predatory practices" and might take her someplace into hiding.
3:42 pm - Dawson said it is the parents' fault for not getting the immigration documentation. He doesn't plan to release her until he sees it.
3:46 pm - Ohio attorneys for Bary's parents are arguing for her quick transfer there. Ohio Judge Gill said she agreed with Judge Dawson that immigration papers need to be provided immediately, before the teen is sent back to Ohio.
3:54 pm - Bartholomew said she has received copies of only two pages of Rifqa's mother's passport. She wants the entire document.
3:55 pm - Dawson said he is troubled that the parents seem not to know what the court demands.
3:57 pm - Dawson set an administrative hearing on October 23rd. He wants to know by then that the immigration papers have been supplied, as he ordered in each of the three hearings he had held for the teenager's status. Source.