New Jersey honor student Rachel Canning, 18, sued her parents for school fees after they cut her off. She claims her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, threw her out of their Lincoln Park, NJ, home last year and stopped paying for her private high school, where she excelled as a cheerleader and lacrosse player.
Sean Canning told NYDN that Rachel left voluntarily after she refused to abide by simple rules of the house. Rachel claims she’s been out of her parents’ home since her 18th birthday, Nov. 1, after her parents vowed to cut her off ‘from all support both financially and emotionally.’
Sean: ‘We love our child and miss her/ This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home.’ But Sean and Elizabeth say their ‘spoiled’ college-bound daughter doesn’t live by their house rules.
The Morris Catholic High School senior and lacrosse player instead has lived at home of a classmate, whose father, John Inglesino, has foot the bill for the suit. Rachel: ‘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.’ Rachel demands her parents pay a Morris Catholic tuition bill of $5,306 as well as $12,597 in accrued legal fees.
Rachel, who has been accepted to several colleges, wants her parents to pay her secondary schooling costs. The unique suit could stand a chance because of a New Jersey court decision that found young adults can be dependent on their parents beyond their 18th birthday, long considered the age a person is legally an independent adult.
‘A child’s admittance and attendance at college will overcome the rebuttable presumption that a child may be emancipated at age 18.’ Tanya Helfand has taken up Rachel Canning’s case and demanded at least $20,000, plus impending college costs, from the teen’s parents.
It comes down to ‘a face-sensitive analysis that looks at whether the child has moved beyond the sphere of influence and responsibility exercised by a parent and has obtained an independent status of his or her own.’
Rachel allegated domestic abuse last October and a teacher who witnessed the teen and her mother engaged in a rough conversation that ended in a nasty way. But Sean Canning, furious that the family feud has reached the courts, claims a Division of Child Protection and Permanency representative visited the family home and found Rachel was a ‘spoiled’ and petulant child and ended the investigation.’