Judge rules against teen suing her parents for college tuition


by USA Today

CBS New York

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 6:41 PM

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. - A New Jersey couple does not have to pay for their 18-year-old daughter’s college education, a judge ruled Tuesday, CBS New York reports.

Judge Peter Bogaard denied Rachel Canning’s request of $650 a week in support, high school tuition back pay, college tuition and legal fees.

But he said he would revisit the issue of college tuition at the end of April, about a month after her financial aid forms are due.

Earlier her lawyer said the parents of the high school honor student should have sought help for their daughter rather than cutting her off financially for misbehaving, the teen’s lawyer said in a court hearing Tuesday.

Canning is suing her parents, whom she alleges were abusive. She is seeking tuition money for her final high school semester and college.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Rachel Canning barely made eye contact with her parents, CBS 2′s Alice Gainer reported.

The Morris Catholic High School cheerleader has been staying with a friend’s family since the beginning of November. Her friend’s father, attorney and former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, is bankrolling the lawsuit.

"In the four months that Rachel had been with the Inglesinos, these people have not called her, they have not come to see her, they have not sent a penny to her or to her benefactors," Rachel Canning’s attorney, Tanya Helfand, told the judge.

"Any reasonable, caring parent would be so devastated and embarrassed by this situation, and they would reach out to the Inglesinos and they would reach out to their daughter, either through therapy, working with the Inglesinos to try and wrangle in this situation and make it right," Helfand said.

Her parents say Rachel Canning left their home on her own. Her father is former Lincoln Park Police Chief Sean Canning.

"To be clear, my clients never abandoned nor abused their child, and they have asked her to come home," their attorney, Laurie Rush-Masuret, told reporters just before entering court.

Rush-Masuret said Rachel Canning did not want to follow house rules, including breaking up with her boyfriend whom they considered trouble.

Judge Peter Bogaard noted that Rachel Canning’s behavior over the past year has been in question—one or two school suspensions, drinking, losing her captaincy on the cheerleading squad and being kicked out of the campus ministry.

Rachel Canning, 18, is suing her parents in Morris County, N.J., on claims that they kicked her out of the house and refused to fund her college education.