Anna Nicole Smith's Mother Appeals Bahamas Burial Decision, Ruling on Paternity Issues Pending

Anna Nicole Smith's mother filed an appeal Friday in Florida on the decision to bury the former Playboy Playmate in the Bahamas.

Virgie Arthur had announced her intent to appeal the Bahamas burial through her lawyers after the court-appointed counsel for Smith's baby girl, Dannielynn, decided Smith should be laid to rest next to her son in the island country. Arthur wants her daughter buried in her home state of Texas.

Her mother filed an emergency motion to stay the ruling that handed the burial decision over to the lawyer assigned to represent the interests of the baby.

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For now, Smith's body — which was embalmed about a week ago — will remain in the Broward County, Fla., morgue, FOX News has learned. And her place of burial remains in limbo.

Earlier Friday, a brief paternity hearing to begin resolving the issue of who fathered Smith's baby daughter also took place in south Florida, with the judge deciding to review the case and then determine whether he should even be involved.

The next round of legal battles will unfold Monday in the Bahamas. Judges there will hear arguments about custody of 5-month-old Dannielynn and ownership of the house Smith was living in at the time of her death.

Three men have filed official paternity claims, but the main battle for the baby — which could lead to custody of the infant who might be worth millions — is between her companion Howard K. Stern and her former boyfriend Larry Birkhead. Both claim to be the father.

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, also filed a claim of paternity, saying he and Smith had an off-and-on decade-long affair.

Though a California court still had jurisdiction over the main paternity case, Florida Judge Lawrence L. Korda was asked to "assist" in certain matters — including order a DNA test for Smith's baby, who is currently in the Bahamas.

Korda, a Broward County Family Court judge, was also called on to review what state and court should have jurisdiction in the paternity dispute, but he said he doubted he had the authority.

"I'm not even sure I have jurisdiction," Korda said, adding he didn't mind conferring with the California judge in the case. "I will take a look and see what this tells me ... The first thing the court needs to do is [ask], 'Why me? Why here? What jurisdiction do I have?' That's what I intend to do here."

Korda's ruling could come later Friday, but was more likely to be handed down next week.

A private hearing in the Bahamas to determine guardianship of the girl is expected to resume Monday between Stern and Arthur, who also is seeking custody. The judge in that case has barred Stern from taking the girl out of the Bahamas until a custody ruling.

A nanny has been caring for Dannielynn at the mansion during Stern's time in Florida.

Birkhead's lawyers said they also planned to go to the Bahamas on Monday to request custody of the girl.

"I'll go anywhere I have to," Birkhead said Friday.

The Florida paternity hearing, under a different judge than the one who decided who should get custody of Smith's body a day earlier, was held in the same Broward County courthouse but only lasted about half an hour.

Birkhead, a Los Angeles photographer, originally requested DNA testing in California but then asked that his case be moved to Florida, where Smith died two weeks ago.

Birkhead and his lawyers attended the paternity hearing in Florida, but Stern — who was there for the nearly weeklong body custody proceedings — wasn't present and was represented by his lawyers. Smith's lawyer, Ron Rale, was also there. Stern's team and Rale said very little.

Stern had reportedly flown back to the Bahamas to be with Dannielynn, who has continued living with him in the house he shared with Smith. The former Playboy Playmate died Feb. 8; her cause of death is under investigation.

Birkhead's attorneys brought the paternity action to the Florida court. Korda questioned why they were requesting his involvement in the case, since California has jurisdiction. But he didn't even know whether the court on the West Coast should be handling it, either.

"I'm trying to figure out what jurisdiction there could possibly be here ... I'm not even sure California's got jurisdiction," Korda said.

He said he didn't want to bring the baby back from the Bahamas for a DNA test, but he'd review Birkhead's requests.

"This child is in the Bahamas. The jurisdiction is in the Bahamas," he said, but added that he would examine the issue and rule quickly.

Custody would likely be determined in the Bahamas, according to Birkhead's lawyers, but they're hoping to bring the entire case back to the States.

A separate hearing in Nassau in the Bahamas on Monday, also at the Supreme Court, is to consider a claim from G. Ben Thompson, a South Carolina developer who once dated Smith, who says he owns the gated mansion where she was living, according to Thompson's Bahamian attorney, Godfrey Pinder.

Pinder said Stern would have to vacate the house immediately if his client wins the verdict. "He's occupying the house illegally," he said.

Thompson says he loaned Smith money for the house, known as "Horizons," but she did not honor an agreement to pay the debt. Smith's camp has said the house was a gift.

Bahamas Burial

On Thursday, it was decided by the court-appointed guardian of her daughter that Smith would be buried in the Bahamas beside her son Daniel.

Daniel died in September at age 20 of a lethal drug combination.

An inquest in the Bahamas into Daniel's death is scheduled to begin March 26 in Nassau. A private pathologist concluded he died from a combination of methadone and antidepressants.

The judge presiding over the Smith burial hearing ruled Thursday that Smith's remains should be given to the court-appointed guardian ad litem representing Dannielynn.

Broward County Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin said the guardian, attorney Richard Milstein, had to consult with Arthur, Stern and Birkhead when he made his decision about where Smith would be buried — which he apparently did in spite of Arthur's subsequent appeal.

Even Hugh Hefner weighed in on the issue of burial, saying he believes Smith — a Playboy Playmate in 1992 — wanted to be buried in the Bahamas.

"We miss her and I think probably that decision was the right one. I think she wanted to be there with her boy, with her son," the 80-year-old Hefner said Thursday during a press event promoting the Playboy Jazz Festival.

In announcing that Smith would be laid to rest in the Bahamas, Stern, Arthur and Birkhead emerged from the courthouse arm-in-arm Thursday afternoon, to present a unified front.

"I'm very grateful that Anna Nicole's wishes are going to be carried out. She's going to be going back to the Bahamas with her son. I'm very happy with the decision," Stern said.

"We all understand that we all loved Anna and we wanted to come together to lay her to rest," Birkhead said.

"I loved her with all my heart," Arthur added.

Lawyers for the other parties seemed mystified by her decision to file an appeal in Florida.

Seidlin made a surprise decision in a dispute that became more urgent by the day when the medical examiner warned that Smith's body was rapidly decomposing.

On Thursday, the emotional judge expressed his wish that Smith be buried next to Daniel.

"I want her to be buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together," he said, weeping while he explained his decision.

Arthur criticized Seidlin's scene-stealing antics.

"Maybe he wants to be a movie star," she told NBC's "Today" show Friday.

Seidlin urged all the possible fathers of Smith's infant daughter to get a paternity test.

"I hope to God here that you two guys will give the kid the right shot," Seidlin said when handing down his ruling Thursday, choking up again.

Testimony in the body custody hearing was peppered with details of Smith's sexual liaisons, prescription drug addiction and the deals allegedly being pursued to profit from the deaths of her and her son.

Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26 and she had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995. Dannielynn — and whoever ultimately gets custody of her — could inherit millions.

Click here for's Anna Nicole Smith center.

FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.