$173,000 in fees sought in RI prayer banner case

Lawyers for the 16-year-old Rhode Island atheist who sued over a prayer banner displayed at a public high school are asking a court to order the city of Cranston to pay $173,000 in attorneys' fees.

The request was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence by lawyers retained by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The lawyers sued Cranston and its school committee on behalf of Jessica Ahlquist, a junior at Cranston High School West.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered the removal of the banner. The school committee has not decided whether to appeal the ruling.

The ACLU says Ahlquist is entitled to $25 in damages. The group also says the $173,000 request does not cover all the time spent on the case.