Power of Attorney abuse
Recently Harper Lee found out her copyright was stolen by her agent who transferred it to himself and has been collecting the royalties since then.
She is suing him, but she will lose the case.
Because it turns out that although it is very illegal for someone to use power of attorney to transfer assets to themselves without permission, there is a very short statute of limitations on this.
By simply not informing the other person you have done this, you can get away with it.
This 91 year old man lives in the house that he built himself. He gave his granddaughter power of attorney over his medical affairs so that if he got sick she would be able to handle things.
She immediately used it to transfer ownership of his house to herself without telling him, intentionally waited out the four years for the statute of limitations to expire, then filed eviction proceedings against him so she can sell the house.
He took it to court - and lost.
May 15th, 2013 1:41pm
Correction: he gave medical POA to his daughter. His granddaughter tried to help him get his house back.
May 15th, 2013 1:42pm
Is it possible that the three (father, daughter, grand-daughter) are conspiring this whole scheme so that he could receive money through donations? Or am I being overly cynical?
May 15th, 2013 2:22pm
It was one of the first things I considered. For example, the granddaughter is very careful to not say anything bad about her mother, which is unusual given the circumstances.
Also, the guy being 91, and them not having any appraisal at all on the house, not even the free tax appraisal that is done periodically and is a public record? Surely they should have done the work to find that value before asking for tens of thousands in donations.
Where are the court documents showing what the judge really decided? Given they are collecting a huge amount from the public, that is the public's right. Especially since it turns out that the statute of limitations starts with the fraud is DISCOVERED, not when it is committed, meaning either they are lying or the judge was incompetent and the case can be overturned easily on appeal.
Obviously what happens is the mother gets a big cash settlement and the granddaughter then gets the house in a year with the guy kicks the bucket, and the backers get nothing.
May 15th, 2013 2:41pm
Also, this is not a charity, so are they going to pay tax on the money they get? Or are they planning to commit tax fraud?
May 15th, 2013 2:41pm
"Cottrill also took custody of her autistic brother, who is Potter's son and Fraley's uncle, after he had lived in Potter's home all his life, Fraley said. A feud had erupted between Cottrill and Potter over visitation rights, and culminated with Cottrill serving Potter with eviction."
Court document of case:
> The Cottrills contend that these claims are untimely. Potter responds that his claims constitute actions to recover the title to real property and are subject to R.C. 2305.04’s twenty-one year statute of limitations. The Cottrills urge us to apply R.C. 2305.09(D)’s four-year statute of limitations because regardless of how Potter framed the claims in the complaint, they actually constitute claims for breach of fiduciary duty. We agree with the Cottrills’ position. The trial court could not set aside the conveyances unless Potter proved that Janice exceeded the scope of her authority or had a conflict of interest, i.e., that she breached her fiduciary duty. Because Potter filed his lawsuit outside the four-year statute of limitations for such claims, the trial court erred when it granted him a summary judgment and denied the Cottrills a summary judgment on the “Invalid Transfer of Real Estate” and “Conflict of Interest - Real Property” claims.
May 15th, 2013 2:48pm
So the court says that the invalid conveyance of deed statute of limitations is 21 years. To PROVE there was an invalid conveyance of deed, you would first have to PROVE that there was a "breech of fiduciary duty". But the statute of limitations to prove breech of fiduciary duty is 4 years. Therefore it is not possible to prove invalid conveyance of deed after 4 years, and the 21 year limit is merely decorative and can not actually be used in a case except in cases where one first proved within the 4 years there was breech of fiduciary duty, then they can prove the invalid conveyance at their leisure.
May 15th, 2013 2:58pm
I disagree with this - the court should be able to "find" that there was a fiduciary breech as a finding of fact, and not a ruling of criminality. Then that fact can be used in determining that the conveyance was in fact invalid.
This judge's logic is like saying that there is a 4 year statute of limitations on proper filing of gun transfer documents, so therefore you can't use as evidence that I owned the murder weapon or committed the murder (with no statute of limitations) since I never filed that paperwork that did have a statute of limitations.
May 15th, 2013 3:01pm
Under R.C. 2305.09(D), Potter had to bring his cause of action within four years after it “accrued.”
> A Cause of Action, the facts that give a person a right to judicial relief, usually accrues on the date that the injury to the plaintiff is sustained. When the injury is not readily discoverable, the cause of action accrues when the plaintiff in fact discovers the injury. This occurs frequently in cases of Fraud or Malpractice. A woman, for example, has an appendectomy. Three years after the surgery, she still experiences dull pain on her right side. She is examined by another physician who discovers a piece of surgical sponge near the area of the operation. Although the injury had occurred at the time of surgery three years earlier, in this case the cause of action for Medical Malpractice accrues on the date that the sponge is discovered by the second doctor. This distinction is important for purposes of the running of the Statute of Limitations, the time set by law within which a lawsuit must be commenced after a cause of action accrues. In cases involving injuries that cannot be readily discovered, it would be unfair to bar a plaintiff from bringing a lawsuit because he or she does not start the suit within the required time from the date of injury.
So there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that the judge's ruling isn't wrong here.
The action accrued when he discovered the fraud.
May 15th, 2013 3:04pm
Hey Judge William H. Harsha, you are a moron and committed fraud in this ruling.
The judge's father:
> William Howard "Bill" Harsha, Jr. (January 1, 1921 – October 11, 2010) was an American politician who represented Ohio as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1961 to January 3, 1981
May 15th, 2013 3:06pm
BTW, I knew before looking that up that I would find that.
Republicans have a very distinct way of committing fraud against the poor.
May 15th, 2013 3:07pm
Blanket powers of attorney are scary.
What you should do, if you ever need to assign power of attorney to anyone, is have a limited one that spell out the scope of what the person can do.
Heck, even attorneys cannot and should not be trusted with blanket powers of attorney.
May 15th, 2013 5:46pm
I don't believe it was a blanket - it was for health care related issues only. As he points out in his appeal, he absolutely did not give her POA permitting her to transfer his property to herself.
May 15th, 2013 5:49pm
The conflict seems to be that the daughter Janice Cotrill took custody of her autistic brother away from her father when the grandmother died. Presumably Janice is now, as guardian, receiving the social security disability checks for her brother's care.
The grandfather John Potter wants to see his son, but Janice won't tell him where the son is. Apparently Janice isn't actually taking care of him and no one seems to know where the son actually is. Maybe he's not even alive anymore?
So the grandfather sued his daughter to force her to disclose the location of the missing brother.
The daughter then filed announced "Ha ha - I transferred ownership of all 5 of your properties, and all your stocks and bank accounts to myself and I'm starting eviction proceedings on you."
No surprise that Republican judges and attorneys are siding with the daughter here.
May 15th, 2013 6:01pm
Daughter answers questions from people in this video.
1. Tell us about your time working on the railroad. It was quite a time.
2. What life advice do you have for people. Quit arguing.
3. Can you give me a hug.
4. Has daughter responded to the media coverage? No.
5. How do you feel that people are thinking about you? I feel special.
6. How else does that make you feel? Good.
7. What is your proudest moment? Hanging up his Army uniform.
8. What is your earliest memory? Dad buying a 1924 Ford.
9. Thank you for your service to this great nation.
10. What unit were you in? Quartermaster Corps.
11. Where were you stationed? The Attu Islands.
Oddly none of these questions have anything substantial to do with the case, despite the general weirdness.
Donations are now up to $100,000, and they are also accepting checks sent to their address, separate from the donation site.
May 15th, 2013 6:10pm
May 15th, 2013 6:19pm
* fought in World War II against the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands campaign.
* is a former sheriff of Vinton County
* is the former mayor of Zaleski, Ohio
* is a retired chief train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
May 15th, 2013 6:21pm
VOTERS AT THE SAME ADDRESS
FULL NAME YEAR OF BIRTH REGISTRATION DATE PARTY AFFILIATION
Ramon Dean Cottrill
02/28/1978 Republican Party
John Joseph Potter
11/08/1977 Republican Party
Richard V Dean
May 15th, 2013 6:31pm
Check this out.
On federal filings, these people, under penalty of perjury, listed their RESIDENCE as "30109 JAMISON RD ZALESKI, Ohio".
30109 JAMISON RD ZALESKI, Ohio
2011 Tax Assessed value: $3600
"This is a vacant land"
So they are reporting their residence to the feds as a vacant lot that's not worth diddly.
May 15th, 2013 6:37pm
Anyway, it seems likely fair market value on the old guy's house is significantly less than what they have collected.
What happened to the autistic brother?
Something is off about this whole case.
May 15th, 2013 6:45pm
The autistic brother is 63 yrs old and no one that age appears at any of the addresses.
His name is never mentioned in these articles. Does he exist?
May 15th, 2013 6:47pm
At 91 should probably just put him down.
May 15th, 2013 10:10pm