Judge Rules Detroit Water Shutoffs Can Continue

isolated-glass-of-water-whiteMonday morning Judge Steve Rhodes ruled that he has no authority to stop water shutoffs in Detroit. According to online reports:

The judge says Chapter 9 strictly limits the courts’ power in a bankruptcy case. He, therefore, says he cannot issue an injunction against water shutoffs.

Judge Rhodes also said water is necessary to sustain life. But free water is not an “enforceable right” in the law.
Judge Rhodes continued, “Detroit can not afford any revenue shortages”

The Detroit Water Brigade released a statement regarding Judge Rhodes decision:

The Detroit Water Brigade strongly condemns the decision today by Judge Steven P. Rhodes of U.S. Bankruptcy Court to allow Detroit’s aggressive water shutoff program to continue unimpeded. Each day, hundreds of our neighbors and friends are losing access to life’s most essential ingredient for the simple fact that they are unable to pay. This affront to dignity and human rights will not continue on our watch: today we pledge our voices and our bodies to protect each other when the legal system will not. Over the coming weeks, we will initiate a sustained and escalating campaign of nonviolent direct action with a simple demand: that water be restored to all the people of the City of Detroit.

Detroit has $87 million in unpaid water bills.

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