Morristown, New Jersey – An 18-year-old woman who sued her parents for financial support after leaving home in October was denied by a Superior Court Judge Tuesday.
Rachel Canning, a Morris Catholic High School senior now living with a friend in Rockaway Township, filed suit against her parents, of Lincoln Park, in February, seeking an outstanding tuition payment, future college tuition payments, and current living expenses.
Judge Peter Bogaard, according to ABC News, asked the court, whether it was wise to "establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?"
In Canning’s suit, an emergency order was requested in the amount of more than $600 per week, according to court documents (see full written testimony here). Additionally, Canning said her outstanding Morris Catholic tuition of $5,306 was also due, adding that to the suit. Because the deadline for payment is not until May 1, Morris Catholic said Canning may continue attending the school and Bogaard denied the need for an emergent payment, according to nj.com.
Canning left home in October – two days prior to turning 18 – and stayed with her boyfriend for two days, the documents showed. Once the Catholic institution learned of the situation, it forbade Canning from staying there with repercussions of not being allowed back at school.
The honor student then took refuge at the home of friend Jaime Inglesino in Rockaway Township. Inglesino’s father, John Inglesino, is a former Morris County freeholder and current attorney for the township of Parsippany-Troy Hills. Inglesino has provided payment for Canning’s legal fees up to this point, the documents show.
Bogaard said awarding the payment to Rachel Canning “would represent essentially a new law or a new way of interpreting an existing law,” nj.com reported.
While Canning’s attempt at receiving immediate payment was not approved, the family is due back in court April 22 for another hearing. The case could go to trial on the grounds that the 18-year-old was “emancipated” when she left home, and no longer required financial assistance from her parents.
"To be clear, my clients never abandoned nor abused their child and they have asked her to come home," ABC News quoted Laurie Rush-Masuret, the attorney for Canning's parents Sean and Elizabeth.