Marine Corps Vet Sued for Living 'Off the Grid'
But Tyler Truitt calls it an act of 'civil disobedience'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2015 3:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – For US Marine Corps veteran Tyler Truitt, the homefront has a battle all its own: The 27-year-old resident of Huntsville, Alabama, is going to court with the city next month over his "off-the-grid" lifestyle, which includes living in a trailer, using solar panels, and catching rainwater in a 550-gallon plastic tank, reports. "We're not bothering anyone," says Truitt, who lives on the property with his girlfriend, Soraya Hamar. "I just wanted to have something that would be debt-free, so that if I chose to go to school full-time I wouldn't have to worry about any bills." Employed at a US Army post, Truitt says he may finish the physics degree he began before enlisting in the Marines seven years ago.

But the city sued Truitt and Hamar, WAFF reports, saying their non-city utilities (like heating, plumbing, and electrical) fall short of city building codes. The couple has also violated a zoning rule by living in a mobile home outside a trailer park. "There are benefits and compromises for citizens that choose to live in the city," a Huntsville official tells WAAY 31. Now the city has ordered Truitt and Hamar to move and bring their trailer up to code. But Truitt hasn't done so; he appealed an earlier guilty verdict on the zoning violation and requested a jury trial. He calls it "civil disobedience," and argues that his lifestyle should be applauded as frugal and environmentally friendly. What's more, this is home: "Where else am I supposed to go really?" he asks. (Something similar happened in Florida last year.)