ZALESKI, Ohio — A 91-year-old Ohio man is raising money to hopefully prevent his daughter from evicting him from the home he built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio.
On Sunday, February 3, John Potter was served eviction papers by the home’s owner, Janice Cottrill. Janice is Potter’s only daughter.
According to Potter’s granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, Potter’s daughter used her power of attorney to transfer the house into her name back in 2004. The rest of the family discovered the transfer in 2010 after Cottrill tried to wrongfully have Potter declared “legally incompetent” and force him into a nursing home against his will.
After his family had the wrongful guardianship removed, Potter filed a motion to reverse the transfer. According to the law, a power of attorney is not allowed to “self-deal” or give gifts to themselves from the person or estate in which they have power of attorney.
While the Vinton County Common Pleas Court ruled in Potter’s favor, a subsequent ruling from the Fourth Appellate District Court reversed the ruling, stating the statue of limitations for reversing the transfer was four years and had expired.
Hoping to keep her grandfather in the home he built, Fraley started raising money on the crowd-fundraising site GoFundMe.com. Fraley indicated Cottrill, the home’s current owner, said Potter could stay in the home if he could purchase it.
As of May 15, over $43,000 has been raised for Potter. The goal is set at $125,000.
ABC reached out to Janice Cottrill, but she declined to comment.
Potter is a WWII vet having served in active combat in The Aleutian Islands campaign. In addition to his service to his country, he is also a former Sheriff of Vinton County, Mayor of Zaleski, Ohio, a retired chief train dispatcher from the B&O railroad, and a 65 year Master Freemason.
Potter turns 92 on May 23, and Fraley told ABC she hopes she can give his home to him for his birthday.
“That’s his home. Do I think she deserves the money?” she said of her mother. “No, but my grandfather deserves to stay in his home as long as he possibly can. If he wants to leave, it should be his decision.”
If you would like to donate money to Potter, you can visit their fundraising page here.