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Federal judge says North Dakota sex offender suit can continue

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A judge has rejected a motion to throw out a lawsuit filed in December by two-dozen sex offenders who are civilly committed to the North Dakota state hospital.

The complaint accuses the state of favoring unnecessary punishment over treatment and violating the rights of the plaintiffs by depriving them of a realistic opportunity to be released.

The suit seeks class-action status for all people who have been civilly committed to the state hospital as sexually dangerous individuals.

The state had argued that the suit should be dismissed because the federal government should not be allowed to review the decisions of state district courts.