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Associated Press, Published March 26 2010

Man denied legal fees in RSI case

FARGO — A judge says a Fargo man cannot recover his attorney's fees from a lawsuit filed against him by his former boss at a simulcast horse racing company.

Former Racing Services owner Susan Bala filed the suit after her conviction for illegal gambling was overturned. Bala claimed her constitutional rights were violated when she was indicted and prosecuted. Her complaint was thrown out of federal court in November.

Former RSI employee Michael Cichy, one of the five men named in the suit, said there was no basis for the claim against him and he should be refunded $15,000 in legal fees.

In denying Cichy's request, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said Bala's claims were not "so patently without merit to find them frivolous, unreasonable or groundless."

Hovland awarded Cichy miscellaneous costs of $69.96.

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