NJ Teen Sues Parents for Financial Support, Claims She Was 'Kicked Out'
A New Jersey teenager is suing her parents for financial support. Rachel Canning, 18, claims her parents kicked her out of the house. Now she wants them to pay for her senior year at a Catholic high school and for college.
Update, 5:45p ET: A New Jersey judge denied the girl's request for financial support. Judge Peter Boggard said, "Do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?"
The parents say it was their daughter who moved out after a dispute over following the family’s rules.
Her father, Sean Canning, told a reporter, “It’s going to be tough for me and my wife. … Are there privileges to living in my house and living under rules? Yeah, private school, new car, college education – that all comes with living under our rules.”
Legal experts say it might open the door for rebellious teenagers to go to court.
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Canning's father, retired Lincoln Park Police Chief Sean Canning, told The Daily Record of Parsippany that his daughter left home on her own accord because she didn't want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew and doing some chores.
Since moving out, Canning, who has reportedly already been accepted to several colleges, has been living in Rockaway Township with relatives of her best friend. Former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino is funding the lawsuit, the newspaper reports.
Canning is seeking her parents to be ordered to immediately pay tuition at Morris Catholic High School, where she attends as a senior. Her parents have already paid tuition through Dec. 31, but haven’t signed additional checks since Rachel left the family’s home. Administrators at the school have said they won’t kick her out for unpaid 2014 tuition, The New York Post reports.
“This whole thing is just destroying our family,” Sean Canning told The Post. “We love our daughter. She’s our pride and joy. The door is wide open. We want her to come home.”
Canning told the newspaper he and his wife have disagreed on typical family issues.
“I’m a liberal, liberal parent,” he said. “I wish I could have grown up in my house. I was tougher on my cops at work than I’ve ever been at my home, that’s for sure.”