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A 91-year-old decorated World War II combat veteran is about to be evicted from a home he and his wife built and lived in for the last 54 years.
The elderly man's lawyer said John Potter's daughter and son-in-law used a power of attorney to sign Potter's home into their name, and a court ruled in their favor.
Fifty four years ago, John and Evelyn Potter built a Vinton County home together in the small village of Zaleski.
Potter said he has lived in the village all his 91 years, except for the years he served his country including a fierce battle against the Japanese on Attu in the Aleutian Islands. Now, after almost a century of struggling to make a life in Ohio, he said he is about to be forced out of his home.
"I laid awake at night trying to figure out what in the world I could have done to these people to make them so angry at me," said Potter.
He said the people he is referring to are his daughter and son-in-law, who he thought were looking out for him.

"In 2004, she signed his house, deeded his house to herself by power-of-attorney which in the state of Ohio is illegal," said Potter's granddaughter Jaclyn Fraley.
She took over as Potter's power of attorney in 2010 after she and her grandfather became aware of the deed transfer.
Shortly after the discovery, Fraley and her grandfather petitioned a Vinton County Court to get his home back. That court ruled in his favor, but his daughter appealed that ruling and the appeals court ruled that she legally owned the home.
"Sadly once the property was granted back to them by the court of appeals, based on the statute of limitations having passed, we are left with no options," Fraley said.
NBC4: "Where would you like to live for the rest of your life?
Potter: "Right in this house!"
Recently Fraley said they got more bad news in the form of a termination of lease or eviction notice.
A Vinton County judge could rule on the eviction and how much time Potter will be allowed to remain in the home during a hearing on April 22.
NBC4 asked Potter's son-in-law and daughter about evicting her father.
"Actually, I can tell you an awful lot, simply because I'm the one who is doing it," said Dean Cottrill.
Janis Cottrill is married to Dean, and is Potter's daughter. They claim the family feud is over visitation rights for Potter's other child, who has Autism.
"For him to stay in that home, it is real simple. Leave Joe alone and stop the lawsuits," said Dean.
He said his wife Janis is upset over the feud and cries many nights.
"I would hope my mother would be a caring compassionate person and even though there is family difficulties she would still care and respect her father enough to let him spend his final days in his home," said Fraley.
She said she and other family members are upset because the courts did not protect her grandfather's rights.
"We are actually working to start drafting letters to our representatives in the legislature to create laws to protect against situations like this happening to anyone else," Fraley said.

I actually know the granddaughter and have for almost 30 years and she is a great friend, you guys are right, there is more to this story.

The son was a ward of the father and lived with him for his entire life, almost all of it in the house in question. The 91 year old was admitted to the hospital, at that point the autistic son become his sister's ward. Two year later the son become a ward of his brother in law so that his sister could claim in home caretaker status with the state and have the state basically pay her a salary to care for her brother.

As for the judge... Vinton County Ohio, state court... therefore no way it could be an Obama appointee. The initial court ruling sided with the 91 year old father, saying his daughter had used fraud to obtain ownership of the property.  The appeals court reversed the ruling saying that a different statute of limitations applied and had expired.

The granddaughter put her self through college and nursing school, had her dream job in California at a Maternity hospital, but moved back last year to a job she does love nearly as much, so she could take care of her grandfather since her own mother is the one doing this.

anyone can message and I will be happy to reply in person and give contact information for his grand daughter.

Dave Daniels

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Comment Preferences

  •  This was an issue in Babylonia 5000 yr ago (8+ / 0-)

    Hammurabi advised: "NEVER sign a Power of Attorney."

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Wed May 01, 2013 at 04:23:34 AM PDT

  •  This should not go well (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Temmoku, Mannie, jayden, ColoTim

    For the children.

  •  I'm still not understanding (7+ / 0-)

    why they thought they should take the home away from the father and evict him.  

    I hope the father is allowed to keep his home and they all get some family counseling.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:00:34 AM PDT

    •  Power play (6+ / 0-)

      The old guy keeps hammering them with nuisance law suits about the disabled kid.  They just can't take it any more.  They have enough on their plate - already care for a disabled brother - and old guy just wont stop.

      So they play hardball. If old guy doesn't stop he will find himself homeless.  

      I've seen the receiving end of this kind of situation - a family patriarch who constantly tinkered with his will to mess with his children. It wore my mom down - and that wasn't about the money. Every time he changed something, it was a stab at someone, usually at her.

      When old people start loosing relevance on the world around them, and especially with their kids, when they notice it is not THEIR game any more that is played any more, and they are mostly spectators now, some of them try to force their way back to relevance. And consequences be damned.

      Family counseling would need to work with old guy, first - and I doubt it would.

      If you ask me, there is definitely more to this story.
      Granddaughter should definitely start thinking before she keeps fanning the flames.

      •  I've seen it happen the other way (9+ / 0-)

        My 85-yr-old aunt gave power of attorney to her daughter and within 6 months the aunt was in a nursing home and the daughter and son-in-law were living in her house - since they had none of their own.

        When my aunt asked just to go home for an hour and see her pets, my cousin told her

        "Mama, you wouldn't like it because we've made changes. You just better get used to it that you're never leaving this place except feet-first."
        When I would occasionally take my aunt out for shopping and lunch, my cousin told me
        "She doesn't deserve it. You don't know what she did to Daddy."
        My aunt's dead now, but you can be sure I will never sign a POA of my own volition!

        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

        by Clem Yeobright on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:51:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  From Reading the Appellate Decision, item {16} (3+ / 0-)

        Potter, and his wife, knew of the transfer on Oct. 22, 2004 via call from his attorney. Potter's attorney prepared the POA and deed to convey the real estate to the daughter. The court can't protect rights Potter knowingly gave away.

        So far, sounds like the power play you described.

      •  Nuisance law suits? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, AnnieR, nchristine

        His daughter and son-in-law take his house away and won't allow him to visit his autistic son - he files law suits to try to reverse this and you call these nuisance law suits?

        Actually, I'm sure they are!  But what I take from this is that the daughter screwed her dad by taking his house away, the son-in-law is a real asshole and the old man has every right to do whatever he can to reverse the court's ruling.

        Seems to me that you are trying to juxtapose this situation with one that you are familiar with and trying to claim they are similar.

        They don't sound anywhere near the same.  Actually, they sound completely opposite.

        Am I missing something here?

        •  yes, you miss something. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          Apparently, the lawsuits about the son predate (and triggered) this whole eviction affair.

          As for the house, it was not taken, he gave it away (as the courts confirmed), which apparently was uncontroversial for more than a decade.

  •  Diarist: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cris0000, johnny wurster

    Would it make a difference if the fellow were not decorated?

    To me, you have eviscerated your entire diary in the first sentence by citing irrelevant detail.

    You might want to think about that next time.

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:04:28 AM PDT

  •  Been there with my father's wife ... (6+ / 0-)

    This woman and her son took all my dad's resources and left him to die alone in the  mobile home he bought for them ~ and then she took all his resources to settle herself in a nice home of her own. She had alienated his whole family and he let her do it. He was not even allowed to talk to us by phone. He had lung cancer and she would not let him use his air tank in the home because, "it took up too much room."  He was rescued by his granddaughter who found him lying in filth on a bare couch and crying because his wife would not allow him to use a bed in the bedroom. He did not know she had left him when the granddaughter (who was not allowed in the home but went anyway because she was concerned) where she found him confused, cold, and starving. she and her husband took him to their home and called Adult Protective Services. But it was too late.

    Once Dad got back in a warm, dry place and got a little more stable, he was able to communicate with us all again. He tried to divorce his wife but died before the divorce was finished. When she heard of his death his wife crowed, "I got it all!"  We found out later that the neighbors had called the fire department over 20 times in the last year he was dying because they were so concerned about him. Anyone this woman allowed in his life had used him for his money. The divorce was SUPPOSED to automatically take half of his resources to use for his last months.

    But after he died, this woman , who had abandoned him, SUED the granddaughter and won for her care of my dad! My dad had asked to be buried by my mother and this woman and her son even tried to claim his body to dispose of themselves. Thankfully the funeral director said he was going to honor my dad's wishes since my father had come into the funeral home and paid to have his wishes carried out.

    I wish I could say there would be a better outcome for this 90 year old, but I know of the greed that possesses  family members using the law in order to profit off their own relative's elderly conditions. Even Adult Protection Services are useless.

    I never asked for a penny from my dad and raised my kids in poverty alone. We were homeless during the time I worked full time and going to school while I watched his wife give away the family home to the son who ran it into the ground. I am sure that all my parents had worked all their lives for has gone up the nose of the son who is a cocaine addict.

    All I can say is there is a place in hell for these disgusting people.

    Cat in Seattle

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    by mntleo2 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:34:23 AM PDT

  •  He CAN sue them for Fraud, civily.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, ColoTim, AnnieR

    for the value f the house, and they will be awarded ultimately, given the circumstances. The Statute of Limitations on the illegal deed signing has nothing to do with the civil fraud claim.

    Ultimately he could settle for gimme the house back and fuck off.

    At least that's the way I'd approach this from here if I were him.

    •  It depends on just what the fraud is, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      and when that fraud was committed.

      There's a Statute of Limitations for fraud, usually X years from the date of commission of the fraud, or if the fraud was concealed, X years from the date of discovery of the fraud, or X years from the date on which one could have reasonably discovered the fraud, whichever is shorter.

  •  Occurs to me that what's needed here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, AnnieR, nchristine

    is a better lawyer  -- 'cause if the Cottrills are doing this to her dad, what are they doing to her brother?

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 09:30:15 AM PDT

  •  It would be helpful to have stated who "Joe" is (0+ / 0-)

    so we could have some context for when it's said by the B-I-L to "Leave Joe Alone".  I mean, without going to the link, that loses me.

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