Judge wants Detroit water shutoffs to stop

Jul 16, 2014

DETROIT, MI (AP)--   The judge in Detroit's bankruptcy case has taken an interest in a hot topic: water shutoffs for thousands of residents who can't pay their bill. 

Judge Steven Rhodes

Federal Judge Steven Rhodes summoned city officials to court Tuesday before hearing from residents and retirees opposed to pension cuts and other lost benefits in Detroit's bankruptcy.

Rhodes says the shutoffs are causing anger and bad publicity. The city says many customers are getting their service quickly restored after paying overdue bills or agreeing to a payment plan.

Water department Deputy Director Darryl Latimer tells Rhodes that people lose water if they're more than 60 days behind or owe $150. He says the average overdue bill is $540.

Rhodes has told Latimer to return to court Monday with more options for people who can't pay.