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Tribe to argue sovereignty in legal-fee demand

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Officials say the Cherokee Nation will argue that tribal sovereignty makes it immune from a request for $1 million in legal fees in a custody battle over a 4-year-old girl.

Attorneys representing Matt and Melanie Capobianco filed the request for legal fees in the custody dispute over 4-year-old Veronica. The Capobiancos have custody after Veronica's biological father, Dusten Brown, dropped all legal proceedings.

Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Cherokee Nation Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo says the tribe should be immune from the demand for legal fees. Nimmo tells the Tulsa World ( ) that the request for fees seems to be ``a warning to fathers and to tribes.''

An attorney for the Capobiancos says lawyers on the prevailing side are entitled to their fees and expenses.

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