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Flint — A judge has largely sided with the city of Flint in a legal battle over disconnecting water customers who haven’t paid their bills.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman ordered the city last August to stop water shutoffs until it rolled back a 2011 rate hike, ruling that the 35 percent rate increase was done illegally.

The city started sending out bills reflecting the court-ordered lower rate in September, followed by shut-off notices to customers who hadn’t paid their new, lower bills beginning this month. But attorney Val Washington argued that the city hadn’t fully complied with the judge’s order.

Michigan Radio reports that Hayman’s ruling in favor of the city Tuesday opens the door to disconnections for customers who haven’t paid bills since September.

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