I Won a Civil Case Once, for an Eviction; But it was a Bittersweet Victory

I owned a house that I lived in for a year and a half in Rice Lake while going to UW-Barron. After receiving an Associates Degree, I decided to pursue further education at UW-Eau Claire. So, I needed to rent my house out or do something with it to pay the taxes.

I found a young 23 year old lady, and her friend 30 years old. They were very interested I renting and paid the first month down. This transaction occurred about June 2000. While I was in Eau Claire, I would come down and inspect the house every few weeks, and then when the time came up, collect rent. Unfortunately, I never seen anymore money after the first 30 days.

I went into the renting business without any knowledge and had to spend a lot of time researching my rights as a landlord. I found out that I couldn’t just kick her out and change the locks. I had to go through a court proceeding, which took 90 days, and that was the accelerated case. In the mean time, I tried to convince her to leave earlier, but she made it clear that she was squatting.

The Rice Lake police showed up 5 times and kept saying that it was a civil matter and not criminal. I was very frustrated by the whole situation. Apparently, the tenant was frustrated too because she claimed there was a black mold that interfered with her breathing there. Yet she continued to squat there.

I made 2 appointments with a lawyer on the Eau Claire campus who gave me advice on how to best handle the situation. He was very helpful and I had to record the second session to listen to later because he said so much that went over my head.

On the court day, the tenant and I were given the option to settle out of court, but she wanted to see the judge. When we started the civil trial, it immediately became clear to him that she was a squatter and ordered her to leave the house immediately. She tried to show pictures of black mold in the bathroom and the judge dismissed them as frivolous. She really fought to live at my place for free.

I went for the double rent citation stature. I told the judge that I was entitled to the double rent. He asked for a citation, which I gave him. He flipped to the page that said a landlord can get double rent, then said he won’t approve that statute. I thought it was a guarantee, but the judge overruled the statute.

Either way, I received no money from her. She owed about $1500 in agreed upon rent. Plus she also intentionally damaged parts of the house.

I saw her a few years later with a kid and I heard her say to me, There goes dumbass.

Also, a few years later, she responded to an ad in the newspaper where my mom was selling some puppies. My mom showed up to watch my trial so they recognized each other. The girl saw my mom, then immediately turned around and left her property without a word.

If you want to keep someone away from you, then borrow them money that they don’t pay you back. If they ever ask for anything again from you, then ask them where the money is that you borrowed them. This tenant owes me money still, and if I ever come across her again, that will be the first I bring up.


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