By Shereen Siewert
Charges filed against a Marathon County woman once listed as missing and endangered after fire destroyed her town of Hamburg home were dismissed without prejudice this month, court records show.
Rebecca Pospyhalla, 74, was accused of intentionally setting the blaze at her home in advance of a foreclosure order. She faced charges of arson with intent to defraud, filed Dec. 29 in Marathon County Circuit Court.
Court records show those charges were dismissed without prejudice on Jan. 13, before Pospyhalla could make an initial appearance in court.
In the formal legal world, a court case that is dismissed with prejudice means that it is dismissed permanently. A case dismissed with prejudice is over and done with, once and for all, and can’t be brought back to court. But in Pospyhalla’s case, the charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means the opposite. The case is not dismissed forever, but can be filed again.
In November, police issued a news release asking for the public’s help locating Pospyhalla after her County Road L property was destroyed in an early morning blaze. Police initially said they were seeking Pospyhalla to verify she was safe and unharmed in the Nov. 4 fire. At the time, Pospyhalla was considered missing and possibly endangered. Weeks later police announced Pospyhalla had resurfaced after retaining legal counsel.
The reason for the dismissal are not clear and officials have not said whether Pospyhalla will be charged in the future.