Elizabeth Morgan, a Northwest plastic surgeon who for more than a year has been embroiled in a much-publicized dispute with her former husband over custody of their daughter, was ordered by a D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday to allow the child's father visitation rights or face a $5,000-a-day fine and an indefinite jail sentence.

Judge Herbert B. Dixon held Morgan in contempt of court during a partly closed hearing yesterday for defying his Aug. 21 order requiring Morgan to deliver the 5-year-old child to her father, Eric A. Foretich, for a two-week visit.

The daily fines were ordered to start immediately, and Dixon gave Morgan until tomorrow to deliver the child to Foretich, a McLean oral surgeon, or face incarceration.

Foretich's lawyer, John Lenahan, said in an interview that he had argued before the court that "there was no legal excuse or justification for Dr. Morgan's admitted defiance" of the Aug. 21 order. He said Morgan's professed reasons for defying the order had been previously rejected by the Superior Court, the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court in Alexandria and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Morgan has claimed before Judge Dixon, in numerous appeals and in a $15 million civil suit brought in federal court in Alexandria last year, that her former husband and his parents sexually abused the child from shortly after her birth and threatened to kill Morgan if she told anyone of the alleged abuses.

The Foretichs brought a $153 million countersuit against Morgan, claiming they had been libeled and emotionally harassed by Morgan and that Morgan had sexually abused the child, but both suits were rejected by a federal jury in Alexandria in February.

Shortly thereafter, Foretich began regular unsupervised visits with his daughter, the first such visits since February 1986.

Morgan was held for three days in the D.C. Jail in August 1986 after she was found in contempt by Dixon for failing to produce her daughter for Foretich's visits.

Lenahan said yesterday that there was "ample evidence" that the child has enjoyed seeing her father and his family since visits between them began earlier this year but that Morgan discontinued visitation rights during the summer "because she simply wanted to prevent contact" between the child and her father.

"There's nothing more for us to do now but to let the judicial process take its course," Lenahan said. He noted that Foretich "is not relieved {by Dixon's most recent order} because Dr. Morgan has refused to tell the court or anyone else . . . {of} the child's whereabouts."

Also at yesterday's hearing, Dixon rejected motions from Morgan's lawyers that he disqualify himself from the case and that he allow former Maryland attorney general Stephen E. Sachs permission to join her legal team. Sachs is not a member of the D.C. Bar.

Morgan's lawyers, who could not be reached for comment last night, said after the hearing that they plan to file an appeal of Dixon's order.