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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 115464
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My city is fining me $1401 water leak caused by a broken

Customer Question

My city is fining me $1401 for a water leak caused by a broken hose.
I was out of town, someone used my water without turning it off at the source.
This caused pressure to burst the hose resulting in a flooded yard.
I am now forced to pay or my water will be turned off. What recourse do I have?
Can they deny an 81 year old of water?
Previous usage was $16 to $34 average for 6 months.
Please help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Do you know who used your water?
Can you get your doctor to write a certification letter explaining how based on your health you cannot be without water or utilities?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I do not know who turned on my water.
A Doctor's certification letter ? Is it not a fact that health is impaired without water?
Please just answer the legal aspect. Can a city deny water to a California homeowner?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I asked those questions because the CA law states the following, " A customer who provides certification from licensed physician and surgeon that service termination will be life threatening and who is unable to pay in normal period shall be permitted to amortize over a period not to exceed 12 months."

So, the only relief you can get here to avoid the disconnection is that you have to show that based on your age and your financial inability to pay, the cutoff would place you in a life threatening situation (since you are also at the age you cannot move easily either).

Unfortunately, other than the above, the city can cut off the water for non-payment and they can "deny water to a California homeowner" who does not pay the bill they owe to the utility company I am sorry to say.

So if you get your doctor to describe your medical condition and age and how shutting off the water can be a life threatening situation for you and then the utility company must give you 12 months to pay the total amount due.

That was why I asked you so I could give you a way to stop them from cutting you off.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not want to pay a doctor to write a common sense statement. I do not want to pay for something I did not cause by usage or negligence. I do not want to pay you $52 to talk. It is difficult enough to get a simple answer having to read through all you ads for more money, plans etc.
Thank you...this was only worth $5.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I am sorry, all I can tell you is what the laws are in CA. I cannot make the law change or make it say what you want. I understand you are upset, but I neither created your situation or the law. The experts are users of the site like you, we are not employees, so I apologize for the inconvenience you had with the operation of the site and any offers they may have sent you, but that is not from me or within my power to correct.
You wanted to know how to stop them from turning off your water within the law and I told you what you needed to do. I cannot change your state laws or the system. You can make your appeal about this not being your fault and the leak being caused while you were away to seek to reduce the bill, which you have done and if that does not work you have to appeal based on your age and health condition as the CA law says you have to do.