Gwen Sheppard, a retired U.S. Air Force major, invited a homeless veteran to use her spare bedroom so he could get on his feet. While Gwen was traveling, her new guest became a disruptive presence in the home and a disturbance to others living there. She asked him to leave. He complied the next day, but he also stole or destroyed several thousand dollars worth of her property.
Gwen filed a police report but, seeing no action on the matter for several months, prepared to take it to small claims court. She gathered her evidence and brushed up on court procedures. Fortunately, the city prosecutor in Browndeer, Wisconsin took her case to criminal court, using the evidence and testimony of another household member. Gwen was deposed and subpoenaed to testify at trial — she was even cross-examined by the defendant — but relieved of having to try her own case. The judge ruled in her favor and ordered the defendant to pay restitution. Gwen received the award and was profoundly satisfied with her treatment in court.
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