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City ordered to pay street musician's $22,000 in legal fees

A Rhode Island city has been ordered to pay more than $20,000 in legal fees racked up by a saxophone player who challenged its policies on street performers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of Manuel Pombo alleging Providence violated his right to free speech by arresting him for playing his saxophone on a public sidewalk. A settlement reached in January allows Pombo to perform on public property and solicit donations, called busking.

Lawyers for the ACLU were seeking nearly $28,000 in legal fees. The city filed a motion contesting that amount. A federal magistrate ordered payment of nearly $22,000.

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