Is living off the Grid now a crime? Off the Grid Apparently living off the grid, off the land and without government assistance is now a crime that can land you in jail and cause you to lose your home. Government officials across the country are forming so called “nuisance abatement teams” to intimidate people into giving up their land or conforming to the governments demands and hooking back into the grid. Counties across the country are actually jailing people for living the way they want to live. I was alerted to this video by a reader and was troubled and sickened by what the poor people in the California Desert are being forced to deal with. From being threatened with jail time if they don’t hook back into the grid to being thrown in jail because the county didn’t like the look of their homes, the people in the deserts of Los Angeles County are being terrorized by their government. It’s a sad day when living off your own land becomes a crime. Please spread the word. 151 Comments on "Is living off the Grid now a crime?" ablesolutions on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 10:20 am If we are self sufficient, then we don’t depend on the government, and if we don’t depend on the government, they cannot dominate and control the people. Their whole “spread the wealth” game is to make us dependent upon them, so they can therefore control the population. History teaches this ploy goes on all over the world. kloathis on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 11:39 am Land of the free and home of the brave my ASS. Economic slavery is at hand, you will all be serfs to corporations and their puppet government. It will be a crime to be poor, it will be a crime to live off of your own land without any corporate “sponsorship”. YOU ARE NOW A NUMBER IN THEIR LEDGERS!! This whole building code thing has gotten a way out of hand and you can blame it on the civil court system allowing ridiculous litigation because some jerk bought a home that wasn’t up to “code” and wanted something for nothing when he could have paid for a pre-purchase inspection and went and found a different house. WHY IN THE WORLD DO I NEED A PERMIT TO PULL AND REPLACE WOODEN DECORATIVE TRIM ALONG MY WALLS!?!?!?! Or a bedroom door that the hinges have gotten a little beat up and the rest of the jam is a little shoddy. I mean really, the replacement opens and closes but no they want their $45 permit fee to replace a $60 door and if you get caught doing it without the permit you have to pay the permit fee and a fine. Pretty soon in order to shop at HOME DEPOT you will need to show your permit at the door before you are allowed to buy anything. Or even better, locally you already have to buy a permit from the city to sell your house and in order to get the permit you have to have the home inspected and have to bring it up to code before they will issue you a sale permit which on average runs about $6000 to fix all the violations with work that must be done by licensed contractors. THIS ARTICLE ABOUT THESE FOLKS’ PLIGHT INFURIATES ME TO THE CORE OF MY BEING!!! millenniumfly on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 1:19 pm Looks like they’ve got him over a barrel. If only he had a few million to spare on top notch bulldog lawyers. jason on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 1:41 pm kloathis: Think you might be mistaken. There isn’t requirement for permitting on repair work. Ask your building department to provide you with the code citation or municipal ordinance showing that. They must provide you with the citation, that’s law everywhere I know, although not necessarily with a copy of it- you can look it up on your own. Call a local licensed architect and ask them to explain it to you if you are getting mismatched/confusing info. A decent architect will gladly talk to you for 5 minutes over the phone without needing some kind of fee. While permitting fees and indeed most of ‘what’ requires a certain permit can be altered and changed from State to State and municipality to municipality, one thing is universal -or so I think and could be wrong in a few isolated/unique cases- permits are only required when there is a matter of life safety or technical prowess. Permitting is not a tax, it is a service that is designed to protect the public and those businesses taking on construction tasks. For example, doing work on your domestic incoming water line could be bad if you don’t know what you are doing. You may inadvertently set it up so that water will backflow into the main and contaminate the entire system from your point of entry down. Might not sound like a big concern, but there have been plenty of cases of septic water leaking out to water supplies. Pretty unsafe risk to the public, so you’ll need to get a permit for that. It’s a hard case to prove concern of safety or other reason for trim (new or replacing). Same with doors and any other essentially cosmetic work. Research the International Code Council who are the people that put together the codes the majority of States adopt. International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings Your State probably has some implementation of the 2009 or 2006 versions. Also, not sure what State you are in, but my understanding is that building departments are not paid for by tax dollars. They only have as much money as they generate in fees to pay salaries, etc. This is most likely the motivation behind the inspector demanding permits for work ordinarily not requiring it. Contact your State Department of Consumer Affairs, which at least in States I know about, handle the oversight of local building departments. You can ask them if your construction official can do that and if not file a complaint in writing, then demand a refund. Best of luck, for I believe you have been wronged. jason on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 1:45 pm Oh one other thing municipalities have been doing to increase revenues, require a construction official inspection at the sale of a house. The reasons for that are to check for any work that wasn’t permitted and not just collect the building department fee that would have been, but to reflect the improvements at the tax assessors office. Redo your bathroom and the tax assessor wants to know about it. They get updates from the building department. Tim Harp on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 3:14 pm Glad I live in Kentucky. My house met the code in 1901 when it was built. All the extra sounds to me that they want to fill the coffers with more of the tax payers money. The city of Lexington, Kentucky is as bad. My uncle needed a permit to add a roof onto a garage that had the walls already up, just needed a roof on it and added a concrete floor. After 3 inspections and several permits later he hired a lawyer and got back alot of his money. Sad day for Americans. Lisa on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 4:45 pm Thank you thank you thank you Rob for posting this! I would encourage anyone who finds this disgusting to email the green blog editor at the NY Times and ask him to get involved as well. The address is as follows: email@example.com Regardless of what you think of the entity that is the NY Times, when they write about something then we can get the right people onto the hot seat and get this kind of thing stopped cold. This is ridiculous, and it is completely disgusting…we CAN get it stopped if enough people spread this across the Internet, folks. Please do your part and email this to anyone and everyone. Thanks again for passing it on, Rob. dean carter on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 5:12 pm Looks like the days of “we the people” are over and its now “we the government”. in which case this is unconstitutional, and the constitutions stands for nothing. having said that……sounds to me like we are now under a “dictatorship”…….good luck “citisins…of these united states LAND OF THE FREE” kind of makes me feel illegal aliens have more rights….. c of chicago on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 5:46 pm You are not going to be serfs of the corporations. This has nothing to do with corporations but rather the long arm of the government. It’s called statism and you are obviously very uneducated about what that means. If you need more help, start listening or reading some Mark Levin. He is an expert on constitutional matters. nate on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 5:54 pm The question people is really: Are you going to do anything about it? Sure we can all wax intellectual about all of these horrid things happening to us, but why doesn’t anyone actually stand up and do something about it? My land lord can’t even walk onto the property I own without notice, and even then I have to be around for that to happen. You know why? I changed the damn locks on everything myself. Simple step, but it allows me to grow food as I wish and do what I want within the warehouse I live in. As for the greater populace, I’m still up in the air on how I’m gonna make my line in the sand. I’m trying to do it through the proper channels but we’ll see how that works out. MIchael Church on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 6:20 pm Until Americans stop relying on government courts to settle disputes between citizens and government its self, this type of abuse will continue. The only thing to stop this problem that is happening nation wide is to start armed rebellion. The government has way too much incredible power over the people. To live in a congested area and have codes and laws and regulations to cover safety, and health issues is one thing..but to live on your own property in the least populated part of a county away from water sheds highways and other things that effect public safety and health is another. And these property owners have the right to live on their own property that they pay for and pay county taxes on without government interference. HMH on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 6:51 pm “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992. http://americanpolicy.org/sustainable-development/agenda-21-in-one-easy-lesson.html/ Charlie on Fri, 2nd Sep 2011 9:27 pm that is some seriously messed up stuff. its like a childhood nightmare, having everything taken from you with no control. our government is corrupt, and will eventually turn into an altered version of communism. we all work for the good of the already rich. some bs if you ask me. Beca on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 12:08 am Interesting that an “off grid” website “requires” any comment to have a name and email address. In any event, I wonder if the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU should get involved in these cases? The reality is that it’s really not the “codes” that the country is going after, it’s getting rid of anybody that does not conform with their idea of what everybody should look like. It’s a dangerous precedent, when a county government forces it’s residents to in essence, become android like in order to be allowed to live on their own property! Individuality is being completely eliminated! What might be next, forcing us to wear the same uniforms? I live in a small area of a city (on the very edge of a city) that was off the grid up until about 12 years ago. Every house here was hand built by the original owners, and many people who still live here are the decendants of the original owners. Sure, some of the houses are pretty funky looking, and some don’t even look like they could fit a bed in it–but that’s the beauty of this neighborhood–it’s uniqueness! I really hate the neighborhoods where every single house looks exaclty the same–it’s creepy. I know that if the city would ever decide to check all the codes of the houses here, there would be tons of code violations–but one thing is certain. Everybody here takes great pride and care of their homes and property, and there has never been one instance where someone’s home collapsed on them, or any other dangerous incident related to “safety codes”. These houses were not put together with bubble gum, they are solid structures, despite their uniqueness. I certainly hope the people featured in this film can get the legal help they need to be able to keep their homes and their land! It seems that the only ones “free” in this country are the mega corporations! Shaman Hawk on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 6:46 am You would think broke ass California would be happy people want to live there. All the gang warfare and the cops are holding moms at gunpoint as they ransack their homes. Macho. The one thing we need to remember is the people still outnumber the government a few million to one. A national civil disobedience day is in order for a warm up. Mike Ratliff on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 7:32 am I stumbled upon this site from a news story and thought I might have info that could help these people. I searched this website for the term “Federal Land Patent” and noticed no-one had mentioned it here before. . There is a program that will allow a homeowner turn one government agency onto another. This program is called the “Federal Land Patent” and it allows an individual to make a claim upon a section of land that is impervious to all government agencies, Local, State and Federal. . Here is a story of a old friend of mine: He lives in a sub-community of Boise Idaho, he owned 5 acres of river front property, that was until the city wanted to build a “Green Belt” paved hiking/biking trail along the river, right between his house and the waters edge. So, as required the law, they posted all the notice’s and placed all the advertising to the meetings, to inform all land owners along the path of their intent. They were offering to pay land owners about 10 cents on the dollar of what property values were fetching on the private market at that time. Any owner that stood in their way, was subjected to “Condemnation” proceedings, where the government would just take what they wanted anyway. Instead of objecting to the demands like all of his neighbors, my friend went to the BLM and filed a Federal Land Patent with the legal description of his property. He spent around $100 to process and file this document. Then, when he refused to sign over the land the city wanted, they started the condemnation of his land, that’s when the fun started, the city discovered that the Federal Land Patent had stopped their proceedings cold. So, they sued him personally, to get him to release the patent. So, they showed up in court, the city representative and a couple big-shot lawyers, against him alone. So, he did not back down, even faced with a judge trying to tell him he MUST comply. He instructed the court of his rights (they hate that) and that he would not release the Patent, the judge eventually backed off the heavy handed stance, and resorted to begging him to resolve the issue. The judge finally admitted, that the city could fight for 20 to 30 years and maybe after that time, they might be able to take the land by force, but that that would not be in the best interest of the community. My friend had fenced across his land all the way to the waters edge, and no one was allowed to cross. and by that time, they had taken all the other land and started to grade their path, so it looked real funny that his section was still undeveloped. So, as the judge had begged, he worked with the city, he demanded 150% market price, he shrunk down the footage they wanted for easements, which required a retaining wall to be built, which he demanded they hire him to build at a hefty price and a few other conditions. They met back in front of the judge, where the judge advised the city “you should take this offer immediately, before he changes his mind” My friends neighbors were a bit pissed off, that he fought them, he got what he wanted and they got screwed by taking what they offered. > So, any of these people wanting to protect their land should have a Land Patent on it, Him and I were told by “non-lawyer” Constitutional legal researchers that with a “Land Patent” on the land, even if you quit paying taxes on it, it cannot be taken from the individual. A Land Patent really messes up the property title, and they couldn’t sell it off if they wanted too. . Check into it here> Home - BLM GLO Records . . Mike in Boise bryan mcfadden on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 8:02 am My first thought is why & how were these laws passed. Money going from the companies who profit from “The grid” to government officials campaign funds. We have let our Government be bought away from us, and We The People get nothing in return. Melissa on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 9:03 am So its better to make these people homeless & force them to go on welfare? As a taxpayer I don’t feel that is economically viable. Isn’t what the government doing considered racketeering. We do not live in a free country anymore… unless your an illegal collecting government assistance. clancy on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 9:13 am No problem here. Very soon, we will all be ‘living off the grid’ as there will be no grid. giles farmer on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 9:21 am yes to the legal approach, people fought too hard in past centuries for their rights lets not give up that strength our greatest protection. READ THE GODDAMN CODE. Maggie Spruill on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 9:21 am Goodness this is fast. Agenda 21 of the giant 2,500 page Obama Health Care Bill, passed by Congress so then we can see what is in it! Surprise, Agenda 21 is buried in there. It coincides with a UN ruling on Rural land that can be confiscated. We ain’t seen anything yet! Heartsick Sam on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 10:09 am why do i get a feeling that this is somehow tied right into Agenda 21? its either that or back room deals to make the rich richer. where i live in the Bay Area, you cant do a thing to your home or property without pulling a permit. the county wants a permit for everything and will red flag you for the smallest infraction. this is how they make their money and they want more and more. TheNorthernSurvivalist on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 11:16 am If born in a hospital, you are only free for a few hours at best. Then the parents are threatened by “authorities” if they do not get a debt certificate for their child they go to jail and the baby gets sold on the human slave market by the CPS and their funder Dyncorp. Freedom is inside you, but outside the rabbit hole it’s just an illusion. Jetgraphics on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 11:22 am Welcome to the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of California, where that which is not mandatory, or forbidden, requires a license. Of course, since 1935, no enumerated American has the legal standing to absolutely own land as private property, it is reasonable that “Nuisance Abatement” be used to clear land of its current holders. Go read law. It should be available at any county courthouse law library. Christina on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 2:04 pm I was forced to obtain electricity. I am in my early adulthood years. I do not own land at this point in my life. I rent. It is against county regulations in Oak Ridge, TN. to rent a dwelling to a tenant without them first obtaining electricity. I do not wish to have electricity in my home. I am a converted anabaptist, ( mennonite ) and this violates my religion, I do not want these ties to the world. I am not totally against the use of electricity, I do own a generator, and a few items that run on electricity. I just don’t want the house to be hooked up to it, and become a slave to it, and the world again. dyarb on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 3:56 pm If this is their land and they bought it free and clear then why don’t they sell it to the county association. I haven’t seen where they were offered any money for their property. Why are they trying to run these people off their own land. I would offer to sell them the land for a really large amount of money. If they don’t want to buy it, then they should leave the land owners alone. frank sherman on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 4:11 pm we owned some lots on lake granbury for several years,we used them for vacations, and would park our motorhome there for three or four weeks a year. later we put a large camper trailer on the property,hooked up to public water and electric.after hurricane ike washed our town away on bolivar penn. we moved a mobile home onto the property to live here full time.thats when the BS started.we needed a septic system.we called a company that does this and got a permit.they dug a test hole and said we could have a regular septic tank and drain feild for about thirty five hundred.when thet started to install the system they said there was to much rock and we needed a green system. the price went up to fourty five hundred. when we tried to get a permit the county said we needed an arobic system.now the price was sixty five hundred.after their inspector came and looked at the plans they decided we needed another fifty feet of land for the sprinklers so we had to buy another lot for three thousand.the price went from thirty five hundred to ninety five hundred. just to take a dump!! we need a few more regulations, say maybe for the amount of air we breath (take short breaths they are cheaper)now i want to install solar panels but i will have to put up a privacy fence so they wont offend the neighbors.and guess what? i need a permit for that to. RockingHorseGuy on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 4:23 pm I’ve always looked at the building permit process as the government’s way of keeping any eye on their property, that you rent from them. No, you don’t own your property, unless you have gone through the Land Patent process described above. If you rent, you must continue to pay rent, or you will be removed from your property. If you are purchasing your home, you must continue to pay the mortgage payment, or you will be removed from your property. But once you have paid off your mortgage, you must continue to pay rent, (property taxes), to the true owner of your home, or you will be removed from your home. Now, the amount of the rent is always determined by the value of the property, so if you want to make improvements on the government’s property, of course they want to be involved, to make sure that the improvement is one that they approve of. Once you pay them for their approval of your plan to improve their property, then they come and inspect the improvement, and add it’s value to the value they have listed for that particular piece of their property. Now their property is more valuable, due to your making improvements, and they can raise the rent to reflect the increased value. And you thought this was a free country. Don’t forget to pay the rent on your vehicle, either. Keep voting for Republicrats, it’ll only get worse. HH on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 8:37 pm A lot of my neighbors are refugees from California and are just that. Left with what they could from an over regulated system and came here to Missouri where in the county you can do pretty much whatever you want without permits. I wired my own house… the extent of code? The power company asked me to make sure I had a ground rod on my end. The hobbit lady down the road? Lives in a prefab garden shed lovingly called the hobbit house. Other neighbors store water they get from the creek or when its dry buy it from me. There are a few old timers living in cabins you could only access by horseback that never have had running power or water and.. they like it that way. Its not zoning. Its not code enforcement. I doubt it is even because they stand to make money off the land. They fear you. They fear anyone who can stand on their own and tell mother government “I do not need you” They know if a mixed bag of “desert rats” can do it others will go.. “Hey we do not need the government either” You have the right idea. I work in communications. I know how fragile the system is. I ask people “what will you do when you wake up and flip the light switch and the light does not come on? When there is static on the radio? When your cell phone says no signal? The gas station is out of gas? The grocery store is closed? Then what? The infrastructures set up to bring us these resources are more fragile than people think. sharpinla on Sat, 3rd Sep 2011 11:16 pm How dare you live free and independent of the corporation. Russell Malcolm on Sun, 4th Sep 2011 12:37 am The basic flaw in all thsi is that these SERVANTS are just that, SERVANTS. Our servants they do as we instruct, they do not control us, dominate or have any authority over us. Who the hell gave the mandate to them because WE the bosses did not? Im in NZ and have had a gutsfull of these empire building buracrates thinking they are in control. Wrong! wipe the parasites out, buy whatever means.