Court Rules Living ‘Off The Grid’ Is Illegal (1 Viewer) News & Blogs 


Chasing the Darkness
Jan 4, 2009
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Montreal, Canada

Court Rules Living ‘Off The Grid’ Is Illegal
June 1, 2015 11:22 am·

For many it’s a live long dream to get “off the grid” and live self-sufficiently. But unplugging from municipal services has been ruled illegal by a court in Cape Coral, Florida.

Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that Robin Speronis is not allowed to live on her own private property without being hooked up to the city’s water system.

He admitted that she had the right to live without utility power, but said that her alternative power sources must always first be approved bythe city.

Speronis has been taking a stand for years not against the city of Cape Coral. Back in November of 2013 a code enforcement officer attempted to evict her for “living without utilities.”

The city’s argument is that the International Property Maintenance Code was “violated” by her reliance on rain water rather than paying the city for water. The IPMC also would make it a crime for her to use solar panels instead of being tied into the electric grid.

“It was a mental fistfight,” Todd Allen, Speronis’ attorney said regarding Eskin’s review of the case. “There’s an inherent conflict in the code.”

Allen says that at this point the argument is just that Speronis must “hook up” to the grid, even if she doesn’t use utilities from it.

Speronis explains that she has won on two of three counts already, but there is still a big fight ahead of her.

“But what happens in the courtroom is much less important than touching people’s hearts and minds,” she explained.

“I think that we are continuing to be successful in doing just that and I am so pleased — there is hope! The next morning, as I took my two hour walk, there was a young man unknown to me, who drove by me, tooted his horn and said, ‘Robin, congratulations on your victory yesterday, keep up the fight and God bless you.’ That is beautiful.”


The local Press-News newspaper said that Eskin “admitted that the code might be obsolete.”

“Reasonableness and code requirements don’t always go hand-in-hand… given societal and technical changes that requires review of code ordinances,” Eskin told the paper.

He argues, however, that he has an obligation to enforce the code. Still, he acknowledges that some of the charges against her are unfounded.

“I am in compliance,” Speronis said in an interview with the local News-Press. “I’m in compliance of living… you may have to hook-up, but you don’t have to use it. Well, what’s the point?”

Speronis has long been living “off the grid.” The city didn’t seem to even notice until she publicly discussed her home with Liza Fernandez, a local news reporter. After that appearance, a code enforcement officer designated her home as “uninhabitable” and gave her an eviction notice.

In March, at a code compliance hearing before Eskin, Speronis was a no-show. Local WTSP 10 news reports that “her company, Off-the-Grid Living Inc. is a litany of violations. Out of 48 violations, Speronis had been previously found guilty of 45. There’s been no appeal or movement to comply.”

“We will continue to use due process and legal measures available to enforce the codes of the city,” Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the cityof Cape Coral said. “The building official has pulled the certificate of occupancy… this was the next step we decided to take to bring the property into compliance. Legally, she cannot be in the house.”

Barron acknowledges that it is “unusual for the city to escalate a case to this level.”

“Even if they board the house up, I’m not leaving,” Speronis explained. “They did the best they could when they took my dogs and arrested me. It fell apart because I’m unshakable.”

The International Property Maintenance Code is still being used by cities throughout the United States and Canada. While it stands, it holds that even if you have power and running water, you can be evicted from your home if you remain “off the grid.”

(Article by Reagan Ali; h/t WTSP 10; Press-News and Off The Grid News)
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!


Apr 6, 2013
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the big utility companies control/influence municipalities... looks like they are trying to make an example in an area where intelligent independent decisions are being made.

fuck em... keep fighting for your rights...

Andrea Van Scoyoc

Sock Monkey Queen
May 19, 2015
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Port Richey Florida
I remember this, being in Florida as I am, and keeping up with this.

Reminds me of a similar situation.

There was a couple in south Florida who, after paying all the permit and other bullshit tolls to the government, built a treehouse, on their own property.

The city came in and foreclosed on their house, levied them with huge fines and fought them until they ended up having to dismantle it.

Florida is a bullshit state. There is no such thing as living off the grid here, not truly, because the local government has to be in every aspect of your business.

If I'm not mistaken, this Coral Springs lady ended up making a fool of the city, because her house was clean and they couldn't find anything more to complain about.

The media coverage on this was great. That's what it takes in Florida, you have to embarrass the government and make them look like the redneck hillbillies they are, to have any sort of progress here, any progress other than money-making tourism crap.


Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Jul 28, 2011
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Rochester, NY
Have been reading a few different things on this on the conspiracy sites I'm on. Really stupid. They want their tax money, they want conformity - everyone looking the same. If you have the space and want to put in a chicken coop, some solar panels and a rain barrel to water you plants I say do it. /mini rant.


Jul 9, 2013
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Try telling our forefathers, you know, the people who built this country with back breaking labor and the sweat of their brow, they couldn't live off the grid... :p

Kim Chee

I closed my account
Living "off the grid" is pretty much a normalized thing in Hawaii.

To be penalized for "not relying on the services offered" seems very un-American.

Or...should I just redefine what being American means?

To take the easy road?
To subject one's self?
To buy something you can readily provide?
To be dependent?
To suckle quietly at the teat of your oppressor?

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