Group Wants Restraining Order Against Detroit Water Shut-Offs

August 28, 2014

Some civil rights groups and activists say they are filing a temporary restraining order to prevent Detroit from shutting-off water service to customers with past-due bills. City officials announced a moratorium on water shut-offs near the end of July – a moratorium that expired this week. Past-due residential and commercial customers owe Detroit’s water department a combined amount of nearly $90 million. The city was harshly criticized for shutting off the water to thousands of customers, but officials now say about 25,000 people have entered into a payment plan to make good on their past due utility bills. But an activist group called The People’s Water Board Coalition says the city still turned off the spigot for hundreds of customers just this week. The group is calling on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to make the moratorium on shut-offs permanent. The group is also working with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense fund to request a temporary restraining order against residential water shut-offs.