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Schoolgirl sues parents for allegedly kicking her out of the house, seeks damages

By News Express on 04/03/2014

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A New Jersey teenager is suing her parents, claiming she was kicked out of her home and thus entitled to money for private-school tuition, transportation, room and board.

In a potential precedent-sitting lawsuit, Morris Catholic HS senior Rachel Canning said her mom and dad are still financially responsible for her — even after she flew their Lincoln Park coop, two days before her 18th birthday in late October.

The eldest daughter of Sean and Elizabeth Canning said she was forced out, while her parents insist she moved voluntarily.

Both sides are scheduled to appear before a Morristown judge on Tuesday.

Rachel is asking that her mom and dad be ordered to immediately pay up for tuition at the 12th-grader’s Morris Catholic HS.

The Cannings had already paid for tuition up to Dec. 31, but haven’t inked a check since Rachel took off. She’s still going to Morris Catholic, and administrators said they won’t kick her out for unpaid 2014 tuition.

The teen has been living with a family friend ever since leaving home. The friend’s dad is former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, who is reportedly footing Rachel’s legal bill.

“This whole thing is just destroying our family,” dad Sean Canning told The Post on Monday. “We love our daughter. She’s our pride and joy. The door is wide open. We want her to come home.”

Canning, the former police chief of Lincoln Park and now Mount Olive town administrator, admitted he and his wife butted heads with Rachel over typical parent-kid issues.

She didn’t adhere to assigned household chores, disrespected other family members and refused to observe a midnight curfew, according to the dad.

“I’m a liberal, liberal parent,” Canning pleaded. “I wish I could have grown up in my house. I was tougher on my cops at work than I’ve ever been at my home, that’s for sure.”

This rare case of teen vs. parents could touch off a wave of similar suits if Rachel prevails, legal experts said.

“In my 20 years of practicing family law in New Jersey, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Brian Schwartz, chairman of the New Jersey Bar Association’s Family Law Section.

Jeralyn Lawrence, the incoming Family Law Section chair, chimed in: “This could open the floodgates of recalcitrant kids fighting with their parents, moving out and then suing for them to keep paying.”

Rachel has the backing of at least two Morris Catholic HS officials, who said in court papers they witnessed friction between the girl and her parents. The school has said Rachel is a good student who has already been accepted to several colleges.

Amy Inglesino, the mom of Rachel’s pal, confirmed the girl is still living with the family, but declined further comment on Monday.

•Credit (except for amended headline): The New York Post. Photo shows Rachel Canning, left, is suing her dad, Sean Canning, right, and her mom, Elizabeth Canning, saying she was forced out of their home and is now entitled to money.

Source News Express

Posted 05/03/2014 12:25:24 AM

 

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