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Judge rules there's no guaranteed right to Detroit water service without paying bills

Sep 29, 2014

Credit Maegan Tintari / Flickr

Water shutoffs to Detroiters who haven't paid their bills are not going to stop.

That's the result of a ruling today by federal bankruptcy judge Stephen Rhodes.

Michigan Radio's Detroit reporter Sarah Cwiek says this ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Detroit residents and activists who wanted Judge Rhodes to issue a six-month moratorium on the controversial water shutoffs.

Cwiek said Judge Rhodes didn't believe he had the authority to step in to halt the water shutoffs. He also ruled there is no fundamental “right or law” to guaranteed water service.

Rhodes said halting shutoffs would also jeopardize water department revenues.

According to Cwiek, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs said they plan to appeal.

* Listen to our interview with Sarah Cwiek above.