ROSELAND, N.J. (TheBlaze/AP) — The New Jersey teen who drew national media attention when she set out to sue her parents to pay her tuition is going home.
Rachel Canning, who moved out of her parents’ house by her own choosing last October after they refused to pay for certain things if she didn’t adhere to their rules, “has returned home and reunited with her parents and siblings,” according to a statement from her parents’ attorney.
“Her return home is not contingent on any financial and/or other considerations,” attorney Angelo Sarno said, according the the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
A judge last week denied the teen’s request for child support and to have her parents pay her remaining high school tuition. But the judge scheduled an April court date to consider the overarching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter, who was described as “spoiled.”
State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard was skeptical 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 at the hearing last week. “We should be mindful of a potentially slippery slope.”
Canning left her parents home to move in with a friend’s family two days before she turned 18. It was during a tumultuous time when her parents separated and reconciled and the teen began getting into uncharacteristic trouble at school.
In court filings, Canning’s parents, retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she didn’t want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence. They say that shortly before she turned 18, she told her parents that she would be an adult and could do whatever she wanted.
She said in her lawsuit that her parents are abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship. They say they were supportive, helped her 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.
Rachel Canning had been living in Rockaway Township with the family of her best friend. The friend’s father, former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, was paying for the lawsuit.
Watch this report from WCBS-TV last week about the judge’s preliminary ruling on the lawsuit: