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 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...