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Abortion Clinic Case Could Cost State $50K

Attorneys for a Gainesville abortion clinic requested Wednesday that the state be required to pay $50,000 in legal fees and costs after the clinic was cleared of an allegation that it performed second-trimester abortions without a proper license.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration made the allegation last year against Bread & Roses Women's Health Center, which is licensed to only perform first-trimester abortions.

The clinic challenged the allegation, and Administrative Law Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson ruled against the state in April, pointing to "overwhelming factual evidence that Bread & Roses did not in fact perform second trimester abortions."

After Stevenson's ruling, which came in the form of a recommended order, the Agency for Health Care Administration dismissed the complaint against the clinic. Tallahassee attorneys Robert Weiss and Karen Putnal, who are with the Moyle Law Firm, filed a document Wednesday requesting that the state Division of Administrative Hearings award $50,000 in legal fees and costs.

The document said invoices showed $63,560 in attorneys' fees and $1,268 in associated costs, but a state law limits total awards in such cases to $50,000.