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.