UK & World News

  • 5 March 2014, 19:51

Teenager Who Sued Parents Loses Court Case

A New Jersey judge has denied the request of a teenager who sued her parents to get financial support.

The judge cautioned that Rachel Canning's attempt could lead to a "potentially slippery slope" of claims by teenagers against their parents.

Ms Canning, a high school senior, claimed that her parents had kicked her out of home around the time she turned 18 in October, and had refused to pay for her education even though she had been accepted by several universities.

She sought immediate relief in the form of $650 (390) in weekly child support and the payment of the remainder of her tuition at Morris Catholic High School, as well as attorney's fees.

Her father insisted she left voluntarily because she refused to abide by reasonable household rules, such as observing a curfew and doing chores.

State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard denied Ms Canning's motion.

However, he ordered the parties to return to court on April 22 , when they will present evidence and testimony on the over-arching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their daughter.

Mr Bogaard sounded sceptical of some of the claims in the lawsuit, saying it could lead to teens "thumbing their noses" at their parents, leaving home and then asking for financial support.

"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?" he asked.

"We should be mindful of a potentially slippery slope."

Ms Canning was dressed in her school uniform as she attended the hearing, as several friends were in the gallery.

She has said that her parents are abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship.

The Cannings say they were supportive, helped their daughter through the eating disorder and paid for her to go to a private school where she would not get as much playing time in basketball as she would have at a public school.

Ms Canning has been living at a friend's home, and the court appearance was the first time she had seen her parents in four months, reports said.

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