Rachel Canning: Judge rules parents don't have to pay college fees of daughter who tried to sue them
Rachel has claimed claims her parents kicked her out of their property when she turned 18 and have refused to pay for her further education
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Wednesday 05 March 2014
A New Jersey teenager who sued her parents for financial support after leaving home has lost the first round of her lawsuit. Cheerleader Rachel Canning, 18, sought $650 (£390) in weekly child support from her parents, the payment of the remainder of her tuition at her private high school, a fund for her future college tuition, and her lawyers’ fees.
At a family court hearing on Tuesday, Miss Canning was told her parents would not have to pay child support or her legal costs. The school has waived its fees until the case is settled. Judge Peter Bogaard warned that her suit could lead to a “slippery slope”, asking: “Are we going to open the gates for 12-year-olds to sue for an Xbox? For 13-year-olds to sue for an iPhone?”
Miss Canning claimed her parents threw her out in November 2013, when she turned 18, because they didn’t like her boyfriend. She said they refused to pay for her higher education, even after she received acceptance letters from several universities. In court filings, she alleged her parents were abusive, contributed to an eating disorder, and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship.
The Cannings, who have two other daughters, said they helped her through the eating disorder and paid for a private school where she would play less basketball than at a state-run school. Retired Lincoln Park police chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she did not want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend whom they believe is a bad influence.
“We love our child and miss her”, Mr Canning told New Jersey newspaper the Daily Record before the hearing. “It’s killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home. 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 and she’s saying: ‘I don’t want to live under your rules.’”
Miss Canning, who has been living with the family of her best friend, reportedly hopes to study biomedical engineering at the University of Vermont, which is thought to have offered her a scholarship worth $20,000 (£12,000). She still seeks a ruling to say she is non-emancipated from her parents, and that they therefore remain obligated to provide her with financial support. The case will return to court on 22 April.
- 1 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 2 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Noel Gallagher: I lost sh*tloads of money, a few million, didn’t tell my wife
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...