A 91-year-old accomplished World War II veteran is facing eviction from the home he and his wife built and lived in for over five decades.
John Potter claims his daughter and son-in-law used “a power of attorney” – or a written authorization signed by one individual to allow another to make private decisions on his or her behalf – to ultimately sign the veteran’s home into their name. A court ruled in their favor.
"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, who believed his daughter and son-in-law were looking out for him.
Potter and his wife originally built the home 54 years ago in the town of Zaleski, a small community in southeast Ohio.
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Jaclyn Fraley, Potter’s granddaughter, disputes the method used by the duo to swindle her grandfather’s home from him.
"In 2004, she signed his house, deeded his house to herself by power-of-attorney which in the state of Ohio is illegal," Fraley said.
Fraley later 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.
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"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.
Potter’s daughter, Janis Cottrill, told NBC4 the family feud is based primarily around visitation rights for Potter’s other child, who has autism. Cottrill’s husband – and Potter’s son-in-law – also claimed he and his wife have been very upset about the feud, even spending some nights alone crying. This dispute is why the threat of eviction is being held over Potter's head.
Nonetheless, Fraley stated the case has motivated both her and her grandfather to continue fighting.
"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," she said.
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