FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Judges on both coasts weighed in yesterday on what to do with Anna Nicole Smith's remains amid a custody dispute over her infant daughter .
A Florida judge, citing a California court's order last week for DNA testing on the former Playboy Playmate's body , ordered a morgue not to release it.
A Los Angeles judge, however, quickly lifted a request that the body be held.
"California has no need for the body of Anna Nicole," said James Neavitt, an attorney for Howard K. Stern, one of several men claiming paternity of 5-month-old Dannielynn.
Neavitt said Florida officials who performed the autopsy on Smith have preserved her DNA.
Attorneys for Stern, Smith's mother, and a former lover of Smith's went back to court in Florida, each seeking custody of the body. Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin made no ruling, but the hearing was to resume this morning.
Another Florida judge had ordered the body held for 10 days after a brief meeting in his chambers yesterday morning with attorneys for photographer Larry Birkhead, who also claims to be the baby's father.
Birkhead asked the Florida court Tuesday to enforce the California court order for DNA testing filed Friday, the day after Smith died. Nancy Hass, an attorney for Birkhead, said her client feared that accurate DNA testing would not be possible if the body were released and moved out of state.
Smith's mother, Vergie Arthur, and Stern had been opposing last week's decision by the Los Angeles judge, fearing that if the body is not embalmed, even though it is refrigerated, it will not be suitable for viewing or funeral purposes.
"We would just want . . . to proceed with a proper burial," Ron Rale, the attorney who had represented Smith in the California paternity battle, said before the hearing in Los Angeles. "No one should go about touching Anna Nicole."
Krista Barth, another lawyer for Stern, said Smith made it clear she wanted to be buried in the Bahamas, where her son is buried. Barth condemned what she said were Arthur's efforts to bury her daughter in Texas. "I think we all know Anna wants to be next to Daniel, and anything else is a tragedy," Barth said.
Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 after collapsing at a hotel.
A hearing is set for Tuesday in Los Angeles to consider whether DNA from Smith can be used in the paternity case.