Man Sentenced To Six Months In Prison For Installing Wind Turbine

Jay Nygard's decision to install a wind turbine on his own property earned him prison time. It's the perfect example of how the US government has been criminalizing “off the grid” living and eroding the rights of private property owners in the process.
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    The US federal government, as well as many state and city governments, have been cracking down on individual property rights and sustainable living for some time. Thanks to their incredibly misguided efforts, it is now illegal in parts of the US to have a garden in your front lawn, collect rainwater on your own property, or live “off the grid.” You can even be arrested on your own property for protesting the installation of a pipeline that you never consented to. This troublesome trend is taking place, in part, because the government, and the “system” in general, wish to prevent a significant portion of the population from being independent, empowered and self-sufficient.

    Another example of the government’s war on private landowners can be found in one Minnesota man’s six-year-long legal battle for having a wind turbine on his own property. The trouble started for Jay Nygard when he installed a 29-foot-tall wind turbine next to his home in 2010. Nygard is the owner of Go Green Energy, a company which produces miniature wind turbines as well as the turbines of the same make installed near his home. One can assume that he installed the wind turbine to take advantage of the products he sells for a living. Originally, legal issues emerged because neighbors complained to the city, saying that Nygard’s turbine was “an eyesore.” One of his neighbors, who sued him over the presence of the wind turbine, said that the turbine’s unpleasant visage took away their “freedom and enjoyment” of their property.

    Nygard fought the courts, who ordered him to remove the turbine on more than one occasion, for years. Though he resisted, he eventually caved to the pressure and had the turbines removed. Yet, this was not enough for the city government who demanded that the turbines cement base also be removed. Despite the fact that three engineers saidthat the removal of the base would cause structural damage to Nygard’s home, the city continued to demand its removal. According to Nygard’s son, he even tried to add an easement to the house’s deed saying that when the house is demolished the pad must be removed. He managed to remove 50% of the base in order to avoid damaging his family’s home. Despite his best efforts, Nygard ultimately was given six months prison time last year for failing to remove 100% of the base.

    This egregious example of the government disrespecting the rights of private landowners, particularly those looking to live a life independent of the so-called “system,” is becoming more and more commonplace each passing year. If the Obama administration is as concerned about climate change and the environment as they claim to be, why do they allow the criminalization of those seeking to live independently from fossil fuels? Clearly, there is more to the story.

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    • Hardlee_Ded

      His mistake was not suing his local government in Federal court… many of these local ordinances will not stand in a Federal court… and your State courts will side with local courts.

      I have sued my local government in Federal court without a lawyer and won… and I had no experience in a courtroom or filing a Federal lawsuit.

      Lawyers don’t want people to know this… but is you sue without a lawyer your filings don’t have to meet the same level of ‘proper form’ a lawyer would…

      But fighting local ordinances in local courts will get you no place… filing a Federal lawsuit will not only get you heard, it will cost your city or community big bucks because they’re municipal lawyer won’t be able to handle the case and the municipal government will have to use their municipal insurance.

      My local government ended up eating over $100,000 in legal cost, had the ordinance the tried to use ruled unconstitutional and had to pay me $10,000 in damages and legal expenses… and it cost me a one time $50 filing fee and gas money to go to court.

      My estimate is that my 3 year Federal case cost me about $350 and about 80 hours of my time.

      • smkngman3

        Anyone constucting a 29 foot anything without even inquiring about a permit is a moron.

        To equate that with collecting rainwater for reuse is worse.

        • It was shorter than the trees around it though. This is so stupid. I thought America had a free society.

        • Bry NIN

          Better ask your master before you do anything.

    • NEU Engineering CC

      Neighbours do have a say on construction, it sounds as though he didn’t file a construction permit which would have triggered notification to his neighbours.

      • Bry NIN

        point being?

    • RC5000

      It was neighbors who initiated it but don’t let that get in the way of your narrative. You can’t grow your lawn high either if you want to live naturally but that’s been the case for many decades in many places. I’m not really for or against neighbors rights. I hate homeowners associations and much of that type of thing but I don’t want to look at certain things either.

    • Daniëlle Zana

      What they did to him is barbaric and outrageous …. then you have the DAPL hurting people who are warning the dangers the pipeline will most likely cause to the water supply for millions of people, animals, plants, live stock and crops.

    • TeeJae

      I wonder how much the city is getting from fossil fuel interests for this. There’s no way this can be legal. I applaud Nygard for fighting this, but the special interests have likely bought off the courts, too.

    • Euclides de oliveira pinto net


    • Krishna E. Bera

      perhaps there is more to the story, it seems unlikely any city would pursue a vendetta over a concrete base which could be used for other things. has this man made enemies at city hall or among his neighbors?

      • Todd Blevins

        Agreed, No way you would go to jail over this. Any decent attorney worth his salt would get this thrown out or counter sue the city for over stepping their authority.

    • GALT

      The laws of nature do not require you to seek “permission”
      to survive…..nor do they respond to the “demands” of

      “Governments derive their “just powers” from the CONSENT of
      the governed.”

      “and to SECURE THESE RIGHTS governments are instituted among men.”

      Government seems to have lost its way…..although it is far more likely that,
      the words were justs “words”…and there was never any intent to fulfill “the
      promise”. ( which is what history tells us. )

      On the “greater irony” front……the imagined “war on cops” may be
      transforming itself into a REAL ONE.

      Be careful what you wish for.

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