​Daughter Evicting 91-Year-Old Dad

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May 16, 2013
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A daughter of a 91-year-old man is trying to remove her father by evicting him from the home he built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio, a small community south of Columbus.

Daughter Evicting

It all started in 2004, when John Potter and his wife, who has since died, gave the general power of attorney to his daughter for future matters if they declined in health, including to take care of her autistic adult brother, now 63.

But unbeknownst to Potter, his daughter Janice Cottrill eventually used that power to convey the deed to the one-story home to herself. In 2010, Potter said he learned of the deed transfer and switched power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, now 35.

Potter, a World War II veteran and retired train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, sued to get the home back, arguing that his daughter had transferred the deed to herself illegally because those with the power of attorney are not permitted to transfer assets to themselves from the estate they oversee.

Potter won in Vinton County Court, but an appeals court ruled last year that the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the accusation of fraud and thus the deed could not be handed back to Potter.

Early this year, his daughter and her husband sent Potter an eviction notice, saying they had terminated his “existing lease.” An eviction hearing will take place on June 12, during which the judge will have no choice but to evict Potter, Fraley told ABC News.

When asked how he feels about being evicted by his daughter and son-in-law, Potter was at a loss for words.

“I just cannot believe my daughter would ever do anything like that to me,” he said.

“The case is currently pending in the Vinton County Court and we will let the court decide the issues,” said Lorene Johnston, an attorney for Cottrill.
Fraley, a nurse who moved to Columbus, Ohio, from San Diego to be closer to her grandfather, said she has not been on pleasant terms with her mother and stepfather for the last two years or so, when she learned that they had tried to place her grandfather in a nursing home, she said.

Hoping to keep her grandfather in the home he built, Fraley started a campaign on GoFundMe.com, a crowd-fundraising site.

About the fundraiser, Potter said he is “a little bit embarrassed that I have to ask my fellow man for help” but he is grateful for others’ generosity and thinks it is “wonderful.”

While the home is not for sale, Fraley said other family members have told her and her attorney that her mother would allow him to stay in the home if enough money could be raised to buy it.