Washington Law Review


The shutoff of essential utility services for nonpayment causes immeasurable hardship to many poor individuals. This comment examines the existing situation and suggests possible reforms aimed at immediate alleviation of the hardships. The role of the courts and regulatory agencies is examined but the primary focus is on the minimum alteration of existing policies necessary to provide immediate and substantial relief. An insight into the existing shutoff policies of utilities is provided by an appendix summarizing a survey of utility policies through the United States.

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