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Woman's fight to go off grid goes viral

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Woman's fight to go off grid goes viral

By Liza Fernandez. CREATED Dec 17, 2013

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Hundreds are rallying around Robin Speronis online now that her story has gone viral. And the City of Cape Coral says it's received complaints from around the world about the whole situation. Both sides say they want the same thing -- to give the homeowner a chance to live her lifestyle. But that doesn't seem any closer to happening than it did last week.
 
"Cape Coral needs to be afraid of me. I'm not afraid of them," said Robin Speronis toward the end of our interview with her last week. She had no way of knowing then the support she'd gather after going public last week, with the fact the city had posted a notice to vacate on her home because of her off-the-grid lifestyle.

Cape Coral officials have since been inundated with complaints -- email after email from mild disappointment to outright outrage for tagging the home one day after our special report on off the grid living aired back in November.

"Take my property away, take my rights away because I exercised my right of free speech in discussing living off the grid?" questioned Speronis.

While the city still won't go on camera, its spokeswoman wants to make sure you know a couple of things:

First, it says when the notice to vacate was posted, code enforcers weren't sure if anyone lived in the home.

The city also says municipalities don't have the power to evict.

"It is the beginning of an eviction process," however, says Speronis' attorney Todd Allen. "A judge would then have to sign off before getting the sheriff to physically remove someone." 

The city also says it's made numerous attempts since October 24th to contact the homeowner because of a complaint about mulch in the right-of-way, which the homeowner has evaded.

"If you're going to contact somebody with a complaint or an issue with their home, you don't have them trespassed from their own home. Send someone out. If they don't talk to you, continue to try, but you don't threaten them with criminal prosecution," adds Allen.

The city also says it merely wants access to the home to provide suggestions so Speronis can live off the grid in Cape Coral.

But Speronis' attorney says no one with the city has returned his calls since last week.

"I'd love to talk with them. I've tried calling, I"ve tried emailing. And I can't get anyone with the city to call me back," Allen tells us.

Allen says if the city continues to contact his client instead of going through him, he will file an injunction.

Liza Fernandez

Liza Fernandez

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Liza Fernandez is a reporter and weekend forecaster for the 10 p.m. news.