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Florida Court Rules Living ‘Off The Grid’ Is Illegal

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+23 more 
posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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countercurrentnews.com...

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 by the city.

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.


How far are they going to go before people get fed up. I don;t know do they expect people to simply lie down and take it or have they desensitized and brainwashed the majority population to such a level that they are unable to fight ? Seems like things are getting really excessive..



+30 more 
posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 08:11 AM
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a reply to: maddy21

I have emailed the ICC to ask for a comment on these issues, and for a comment on whether the organisation supports the use of its codes to prevent people living free of energy and utility costs.

We shall see what comes of it.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 08:14 AM
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If there were enough people who wanted to live "off the grid", they could move into a rural area somewhere and take over the local politics. Once they have the majority, they can change the laws (zoning in particular) and give the finger to the big utilities. It's a struggle against the big players who have the politicians in their pockets. They need an off grid community in big enough numbers to have political control and change the laws in their favor. Having a lot of money to work with would be a big advantage in the struggle. Even with all that, they would be in for a big fight to freely live their alternate lifestyle.


+12 more 
posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: maddy21

So many government authorities are scared to death of people making their own decisions! It's ridiculous! The fact that they find this person a threat to their control is hilarious! I hope she fights it to the end!



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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Florida definitely has a grudge with people trying to live free range

thinkprogress.org...

Its the same with living in your car albeit that can make it easier because you can park in non conspicuous places to blend in. In the end though it amounts to the authoritative establishment punishing you for not being plugged into the system.

Like you are not allowed to exist without paying your dues. You can see it in society how we are being programmed to dislike/distrust those that are not cookie cutter worker drones living on credit and beyond their means so they are always enslaved by that debt. I'm scared that in my lifetime we will see cash die and electronic funds be the new thing.
edit on CDTTue, 16 Jun 2015 09:05:49 -0500amppAmerica/Chicago16-05:00Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:05:49 -050005 by TrappedPrincess because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 09:22 AM
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edit on 16-6-2015 by TheJesuit because: disregard



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 09:43 AM
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a reply to: maddy21

I did read the article--at least there's this:


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.


Having been in the legal profession (non-lawyer) for nearly a decade's worth of time, I empathize with the judge's point. The problem isn't the ruling, it's the overreaching codes for which he is forced to rule per his job.

The burden of changing the code lies in the residents and their elected legislators, not the judge. I'm glad to see a judge not legislating from the bench, even if I disagree with the result because of the code that is in place.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 09:46 AM
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Well it IS Florida we are talking about here. I mean this is the state that regularly criminalizes the homeless, so I can't see it as a huge stretch of the imagination that they'd make this illegal too. Florida probably just views it as another form of homelessness.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
If there were enough people who wanted to live "off the grid", they could move into a rural area somewhere and take over the local politics. Once they have the majority, they can change the laws (zoning in particular) and give the finger to the big utilities. It's a struggle against the big players who have the politicians in their pockets. They need an off grid community in big enough numbers to have political control and change the laws in their favor. Having a lot of money to work with would be a big advantage in the struggle. Even with all that, they would be in for a big fight to freely live their alternate lifestyle.


I've been saying this too, for quite some time on ATS. Simple minded people just don't understand the concept and NEVER will. Its not that they are to dumb to learn, they just have lived very simple lives and have no idea what they are going to have to fight against.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Good for you TrueBrit!


These stories make me so angry and we're not even in the states. If we were, we would be on the street everyday protesting some ludicrous silly codes being dictated to us. What is up with our American Cousins, they seem to be lapping up crap day in and day out and instead of getting better, just seems to get worse by the day ;(



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
If there were enough people who wanted to live "off the grid", they could move into a rural area somewhere and take over the local politics. Once they have the majority, they can change the laws (zoning in particular) and give the finger to the big utilities. It's a struggle against the big players who have the politicians in their pockets. They need an off grid community in big enough numbers to have political control and change the laws in their favor. Having a lot of money to work with would be a big advantage in the struggle. Even with all that, they would be in for a big fight to freely live their alternate lifestyle.


The sad part about this is that most people who are interested in this type of lifestyle don't have tons of cash lying around to start lobbying for changes in laws.

As another poster pointed out they usually don't have an understanding let alone an interest in local politics.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:31 AM
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a reply to: flammadraco

I think it is unwise to believe that it is any easier to live free in the UK either. Five people were removed from forest in Wales, where they had been living in a low environmental impact commune for some years. This was a couple of years back.

The rules are no less restrictive here than they are in the States, and what is worse, there is less space to get lost in here!



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I agree that we are no better in the UK, however we've never classed ourselves as the "land of the Free".

Every year, the US State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy.

But here are ten reasons why the U.S. is no longer the land of the Free that is once aspired to be;

Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)


Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. While the administration claims that this provision only codified existing law, experts widely contest this view, and the administration has opposed efforts to challenge such authority in federal courts. The government continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion. (China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”)


Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)


Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.)


Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security — a claim made in a variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow definition of standing to bring a case.


War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries. (Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.)


Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance. (Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.)


Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)


Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)


Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.


Its defiantly not the land of the Free any more. I spent a few months in Georgia back at the end of the 1990's and was surprised how different our sense of "freedom" was to our American counterparts. I can only imagine how much worse it has become after the patriot act.

Yes we have "secret Family Courts" here in the UK which is abhorrent and should not be allowed in civilised society, but by god, is it to late for the Americans to cease back control of their country from their overlords??



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
I think it is unwise to believe that it is any easier to live free in the UK either. Five people were removed from forest in Wales, where they had been living in a low environmental impact commune for some years. This was a couple of years back.

The rules are no less restrictive here than they are in the States, and what is worse, there is less space to get lost in here!


I think England's old laws for Common Land and Freedom to Roam weren't that far off from what the USA was allowing post the industrial revolution.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 10:57 AM
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I will never understand why local/state etc.. authorities treat people this way. Growing up I was always under the impression that sinks/ bath tubs/ electric to the house were for people who weren't resourceful enough to have their own water supply, or generators. I always imagined that if you could do it on your own, you wouldn't have to pay. That by paying you were saying "Hey thanks for that water, and electric etc.. I couldn't have done it myself!"

However... If you CAN do it your self why should you not be allowed to? It just makes no sense to me. If someone has a good reason that anyone should not be permitted to live off the grid please tell me. Thanks.

-NG



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: boohoo

Hmmm... I suppose not. An interesting parallel to be sure!

Meanwhile, I have received a confirmation email, stating that the ICC have received my query. Apparently they will be back to me shortly.

*strokes beard, taps foot*



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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Well, if you aren't hooked up to sewer, you're going to be dumping your waste on your land in ways that may not be very safe. Your waste could leech into the subsurface groundwater and contaminate other people's property, or the entire town/city's itself.

This isn't just "we're scared you're independent" -- this is looking out for the common good of everyone, and chances are that these people won't take the proper case to dispose of their toilet and brackish water waste in a responsible manner.

There's always more to the story. The government isn't always out to oppress you and keep you in a cage because it's fun for them.



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
Well, if you aren't hooked up to sewer, you're going to be dumping your waste on your land in ways that may not be very safe. Your waste could leech into the subsurface groundwater and contaminate other people's property, or the entire town/city's itself.

This isn't just "we're scared you're independent" -- this is looking out for the common good of everyone, and chances are that these people won't take the proper case to dispose of their toilet and brackish water waste in a responsible manner.

There's always more to the story. The government isn't always out to oppress you and keep you in a cage because it's fun for them.


Yes, in the article it stated that she had MANY code violations that piled up over the years. She was basically hoping that forgotten/legacy homesteading type laws would cover her in the end, obviously they did not.


originally posted by: NerdGoddess
I will never understand why local/state etc.. authorities treat people this way. Growing up I was always under the impression that sinks/ bath tubs/ electric to the house were for people who weren't resourceful enough to have their own water supply, or generators. I always imagined that if you could do it on your own, you wouldn't have to pay. That by paying you were saying "Hey thanks for that water, and electric etc.. I couldn't have done it myself!"

However... If you CAN do it your self why should you not be allowed to? It just makes no sense to me. If someone has a good reason that anyone should not be permitted to live off the grid please tell me. Thanks.


Lots of people pose this kind of statement on ATS, but the reality is, that due to permits and overzealous code enforcement officials, the average person needs LOTS of knowledge of building codes and a healthy savings account and/or access to large lines of credit, "just in case", professionals like lawyers or architects are needed to keep the project moving forward or to fix unforeseen problems. If you don't have such skills, nor the means to bring on professional help, with little notice, you stand a very good chance of getting fined, projects shut down and kicked off your land eventually.

People here may disagree with this overall sentiment, but it is a fact.

First step is legal research, PERIOD, then while working with an architect or planner, buy the land that THEY recommend, based on your plans. Follow that up by asking an architect or planner to help develop a master plan for the property, to be implemented over the course of 5-7 years. Again, doing it any other way will result in fines, liens or at worse seizure of the land itself. The government has bottled this kind of stuff up, real tight and its home court advantage for them. Local governments know how to steal land from anyone. Very few of those losing what they had, knew how to stop it, like this lady in the article.

Don't be one of them!

For example, a planner/architect will tell you during the master plan phase, "You can never build a Aquaponics/hydroponics system because of code XXX" or "Building a Aquaponics/hydroponics system will require a $30,000 EIR". Off-the-Grid design and construction pushes zoning and building codes to the limit. People who subscribe to "do it yourself" will ALWAYS fail in the endeavor of "code compliance", once Code Enforcement shows up to inspect the property. I'd argue that having such professionals always available, is relevant in ALL situations where you are building non-traditional, off-the-grid, systems for residences.

So, make sure you have a lawyer on retainer, find a way to receive and read your mail, and learn how to build things to code. You WILL be hounded for permits, code violations and taxes for as long as you own the land. There is NO WAY around it and I have seen many Neo-Pioneers loose it all because they thought they could ignore local government Code Enforcement and ignore court summons.

Also, as was mentioned by MichiganSwampBuck, the BEST INITIAL APPROACH is serve on local government committees and/or get elected on to a city council position, in the jurisdiction where you property is located.
edit on 16-6-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: maddy21

I did read the article--at least there's this:


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.


Having been in the legal profession (non-lawyer) for nearly a decade's worth of time, I empathize with the judge's point. The problem isn't the ruling, it's the overreaching codes for which he is forced to rule per his job.

The burden of changing the code lies in the residents and their elected legislators, not the judge. I'm glad to see a judge not legislating from the bench, even if I disagree with the result because of the code that is in place.



I get that the law profession requires dismissal of this, but doesn't one swear an oath to become a judge?



posted on Jun, 16 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: ISawItFirst

originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: maddy21

I did read the article--at least there's this:


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.


Having been in the legal profession (non-lawyer) for nearly a decade's worth of time, I empathize with the judge's point. The problem isn't the ruling, it's the overreaching codes for which he is forced to rule per his job.

The burden of changing the code lies in the residents and their elected legislators, not the judge. I'm glad to see a judge not legislating from the bench, even if I disagree with the result because of the code that is in place.



I get that the law profession requires dismissal of this, but doesn't one swear an oath to become a judge?


Was a jury trial available to her? I think Jury Nullification is the only way to override somthing like this because a judge is not suppose to legislate from the bench (in theory of course).



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