Daughter Evicting Her 91-Year-Old Father From Home He Built 50 Years Ago

Thursday, 16 May 2013 10:53 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A 91-year-old veteran is fighting to stay in the Ohio home he built himself more than five decades ago now that his own daughter is evicting him.

John Potter, a World War II veteran and former train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and his wife handed the general power of attorney over to their daughter, Janice Cottrill, in 2004 to handle matters if they should decline in health. Potter's wife has since died and, unbeknownst to him, Cottrill later used that power to transfer the deed of the one-story home in Zaleski, Ohio, to herself.

Potter first learned about what his daughter had done in 2010, when his granddaughter, Cottrill's daughter Jaclyn Fraley, 35, told him.

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He immediately sued to regain control of the home, arguing that Cottrill had committed fraud. He won at the county court level, but an appeals court overturned the ruling, claiming the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the fraud accusation and prevented Potter from taking back the deed of his home.

Then, earlier this year, Cottrill and her husband sent Potter an eviction notice. Fraley said she believes her mother wants to ultimately sell the home and pocket the profit.

"I just cannot believe my daughter would ever do anything like that to me," Potter told ABC News.

An eviction hearing is scheduled for June 12, in which the judge will have no choice but to evict Potter, but Fraley has started an online fund to help keep her grandfather in his home. 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.

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A nurse who moved to Ohio from San Diego, Calif., to be closer to her grandfather, Fraley has not been on good terms with her mother since two years ago when she learned Cottrill was trying to have Potter placed in a nursing home. She has started a petition on fundraising site GoFundMe.com and already raised more than her goal of $125,000.

"I just woke up to our goal being reached," Fraley wrote on the site Thursday. "Dreams really only do come true when you wake up! I can't wait to call Grandpa later this morning and share the news."

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