#1 UPDATED!: New Jersey teen sues parents because they won’t pay her college tuition
03-04-2014, 04:57 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
(See update here.)
I wonder if she can also sue because they are not keeping her on their insurance?
New Jersey teen sues parents because they won’t pay her college tuition
A high school senior at Morris Catholic High School in New Jersey’s suburban sprawl is suing her parents because, she claims, they threw her out of the house when she turned 18 and have refused to pay for her college education.
The plaintiff in the novel lawsuit is Rachel Canning, reports the Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J. She is a cheerleader, a lacrosse player and an honor student. She wants to major in biomedical engineering.
Canning filed her lawsuit in New Jersey family court against her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning.
In the lawsuit, Canning claims that her parents cut her off when she turned 18 and that they have been mean to her. She has also claimed abuse, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of abuse other than a yelling match a school official witnessed between Canning and her mother.
The 18-year old adult is seeking a declaration from a judge preventing her emancipation into the cold, cruel world under the theory that she must remain a nonemancipated dependent.
Specifically, Canning and her attorney, Tanya N. Helfand, are asking a New Jersey court to force Canning’s parents to pay a $5,306 Morris Catholic High tuition bill that is currently outstanding. Helfand will also ask the court to order the grown woman’s parents to pay for their daughter’s living and transportation expenses for the foreseeable future.
The attorney will also ask the judge to compel the Canning parents to use an existing college fund previously set up for Canning to pay for at least some of her college education, even though the parents say the college fund is freely available for Canning to use for tuition wherever she likes.
Finally, Canning’s lawsuit asks a judge to make her own parents pay her legal bills, which total $12,597 so far.
“I’m dumbfounded,” father Sean Canning told CBS New York. ”So is my wife. So are my other daughters.”
The retired police chief has called his daughter “an incredibly rebellious teen.” He also said didn’t kick her out at all. Instead, he explains, she up and left on her own in late October because she didn’t want to abide by her parents’ rules.
An undercurrent in the family matter-turned-lawsuit also appears to involved a tale as old as time: the daughter’s boyfriend. She likes him; her parents do not.
“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,’” Canning told the Record.
“Living in our house, there’s very few things,” he also said, according to CBS New York. “There’s minor chores. There’s curfews. When I say curfew, it’s usually after 11 o’clock at night.”
Last edited by Elspeth; 03-05-2014 at 05:13 PM.
03-04-2014, 05:03 PM
It's been clearly established in divorce courts around the nation that parents are not financially responsible for their children if the kids are over 18.
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
03-04-2014, 05:28 PMU.S. Army, Retired
03-04-2014, 05:29 PM
Spoiled brat needs to be dropped at the nearest skid row for a night or two...Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.
We could say they are spending like drunken sailors. That would be unfair to drunken sailors, they're spending their OWN money.
03-04-2014, 05:34 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Peoples Democratic Socialist Republic of Michiganistanovia
Since the ACA allows kids under 26 to be covered under their parent's policies, I could see some ambulance chaser convincing a judge that parents are obligated to provide continued education until they reach that age as well.
03-04-2014, 05:52 PM
There are some screwy cases in NJ, but mostly involving the interpretation of support agreements after divorce. She has at least a supportable argument over the balance of the high school tuition, since courts (Especially in a place with judges as Lefty as Jersey's) will often continue support obligations through the end of the school year even though a kid is 18.
03-04-2014, 06:27 PMIt's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
03-04-2014, 07:29 PM
A big factor here would be whether her parents are actually paying her living expenses away from home, and whether they claimed her as a dependent on their State and Federal income taxes. If they did those things, they're probably sucking wind on the high school tuition in a NJ court.
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