Bankruptcy judge sets hearing on request to stop Detroit residential water shutoffs

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DETROIT — A judge has pushed back a hearing over whether to temporarily delay water shutoffs to Detroit residents with unpaid bills.

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said Wednesday that lawyers can present their cases at a Monday evidentiary hearing. Rhodes earlier this month ordered mediation on the matter.

Detroit's water department stepped up shutoffs in March of those accounts 60 days behind or owing more than $150. About 15,000 customers had service shut off in April through June. Several groups appealed to the United Nations for support. The city has faced international criticism for the shutoffs.

The shutoffs were suspended about a month this summer to give water department officials time to inform customers about the service stoppages and available payment plans.

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