Teen Sues Parents for School Fees in Legal Family Feud
A New Jersey high school honors student is suing her parents for abandoning her while she was still attending school.
Rachel Canning, 18, is demanding that her parents pay her remaining private high school costs.
She claims that her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, gave her two ultimatums before she moved out: to leave her boyfriend or to leave home.
Obviously, she chose the latter.
The Morris Catholic High School senior and cheerleader is currently staying with one of her classmates since her parents ‘kicked her out’ on her 18th birthday, which was November 1.
Oddly enough, her classmate’s father, attorney John Inglesino, and his wife intend to help Canning fight the case against her parents by providing funds for the lawsuit.
Canning’s father, who is a former Lincoln Park, New Jersey Police Officer, asserts that his daughter chose to emancipate herself.
According to the Daily Record, he shared his side of the story:
“We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife…we love Rachel and wish she would wake up. We’re not draconian and now we’re getting hauled into court. She’s demanding that we pay her bills, but she doesn’t want to live at home.”
Mr. Canning also argues that just last October following child abuse allegations, a Division of Child Protection and Permanency representative determined that his daughter was “spoiled” and then decided to terminate the investigation. He says that his daughter refuses to abide by simple household rules and has been suspended in the past from school. Therefore, he and his wife took away her car and decided to not support her educational expenses any longer. (image)
Court records, however, show plausible evidence to support Canning’s argument:
“My parents have rationalized their actions by blaming me for not following their rules. They stopped paying my high school tuition to punish the school and me and have redirected my college fund, indicating their refusal to afford me an education as a punishment.”
Canning’s parents allegedly owe the Catholic school more than $5,000 in tuition costs.
Although Mr. Canning admits to withholding payments to Morris High, President Michael St. Pierre told the court in a written letter that the school will not expel Canning because of her parents’ actions.
“Rachel has excellent grades and will not be removed from the school for this non-payment; however her parents do have a contractual obligation to pay.” Pierre said, according the Daily Record. “Rachel is certainly unable at this time to attend Morris Catholic High School full-time and support herself financially.”
Canning’s has received several acceptance award letters and a $20,000 scholarship from a private New York university.
She has also filed a lawsuit demanding her parents pay her impending college fees, which Mr. Canning has ensured that he would take part in doing.
Canning was scheduled to face her parents in Morristown Family Court Tuesday. The odds seemed to be on her side because according to a state law, parents are obligated to support their children well after the legal age of 18.
However, Superior Court Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard denied Canning’s claims. He made his decision mainly based on Canning’s reoccurring misbehavior in school and at home within the past year.
Judge said it’s a public policy issue: “what type if precedent are we setting” if kids thumb nose at parents then expect money?
— Michael Izzo DR (@MIzzoDR) March 4, 2014
Another hearing is scheduled for April 22 to determine Canning’s legal status.
Image via YouTube