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ND agrees to pay $58K in attorneys’ fees in lawsuit over gay marriage ban

BISMARCK - The state of North Dakota has agreed to pay $58,000 in attorneys' fees and costs in one of two lawsuits filed in federal court that challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

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BISMARCK – The state of North Dakota has agreed to pay $58,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in one of two lawsuits filed in federal court that challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Fargo show the state has stipulated to pay $48,717 to Minneapolis-based Madia Law LLC and $2,286 to Fargo attorney Thomas Fiebiger.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights also will receive $6,997.

The lawyers represented seven same-sex couples who brought the suit against state officials and Cass County’s treasurer.

A federal judge still has to approve the agreement, which was signed by North Dakota Solicitor General Douglas Bahr, Joshua Newville of Madia Law and Scott Porsborg, a special assistant state’s attorney for Cass County.

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In the other lawsuit, brought by Fargo couple Janet Jorgensen and Cynthia Phillips, the parties have been in settlement negotiations over attorneys’ fees. A judge recently granted a joint motion to extend the time for filing a petition for attorneys’ fees, setting Monday as the deadline.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson judged in favor of the plaintiffs in both lawsuits after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26 that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

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