Accused squatter agrees to stay away from widow's home forever, settles civil case

Widow's family: 'An extrordinarily difficult year'
Posted at 6:47 PM, Jan 19, 2017

SAN DIEGO - Cheryl Sherrell agreed to move her things out of Fran Breslauer's College area home and never come back as part of a settlement deal in her civil lawsuit.

She did not admit guilt, nor will Sherrell have any record of being forcibly evicted from Breslauer's home.

The settlement was reached on the day set for the case to go to trial before San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfiel. Breslauer was absent because of a potentially life-threatening medical condition that prohibited her from traveling from her new home in Oregon.

Breslauer's attorney asked the trial date be moved, but Judge Wohlfiel pushed the attorneys for the two elderly women to find common ground.

"This is obviously one of those cases that is screaming for settlement," Wohlfiel said.

At issue was Sherrell's occupancy at the Breslauer home. She was hired in October of 2015 as a live-in caregiver for Breslauer's husband, Alan. Alan died in February. Breslauer claims she fired Sherrell and told her to leave.

The women filed for restraining orders against each other.  In March, Sherrell vacated the property, only to return after Breslauer left to stay with her daughter in Oregon.

Breslauer filed a civil lawsuit to evict Sherrell and to recover $90 per day for rent and utilities, as well as attorney fees.

Sherrell argued she had the right to stay in the home because she believed Breslauer owed her money.

The settlement offer dismissed the case, allowing both women to walk away from what the judge called a "contentious " and "acrimonious" case. 

Each woman will pay her own attorney's fees. The employment contract is relinquished and Sherrell did not have to make any admission of wrongdoing.

Breslauer's daughter said her mother is happy to put the case behind her.

"I think she’s happy to have a settlement on the civil side, and she got what she wanted, which was her house back," Jan Breslauer said.

The settlement came just two days before the first anniversary of her father's death.

"So this whole year has been in that shadow," Breslauer said.

Sherrell's attorney called it a win for his client.

"They’ll never be able to say they got a judgement for possession against her," Lawrence Mudgett said. "They’ve dismissed the case. We’ve promised not to return."

Sherrell was ordered to remove her belongings from Breslauer's home no later than January 28th. She must have a police escort when she does so.

Sherrell still faces criminal charges for her unwanted stay at the Breslauer home. She pleaded not guilty to 4 misdemeanor counts, including theft from a dependent/elder adult, petty theft, unauthorized entry of a dwelling and willful cruelty to an elder/dependent adult.

The trial is set to begin February 21st.

Previous stories:

- Widow says caregiver has become a squatter: 'How can you do that to a 90-year old woman?':

- Accused squatter renting out rooms in the College Area:

- Accused College Area house squatter barred from home: