Maggie: Whether it is over cellphones or curfews, everyone has battled with their parents at some point. But one high school senior in New Jersey took that to a whole new level, and now her court case is making headlines and could make legal history. Scott Evans has the details.
Judge Peter Bogaard: All requests at this time for emergent relief are denied.
Scott: It is a strange case of child vs. parents.
Sean Canning: We’re being sued by our child. I am dumbfounded. So is my wife, so are my other daughters.
Scott: Eighteen-year-old Rachel Canning of New Jersey is suing her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning. Rachel claims she was kicked out of her home and that her parents are now refusing to pay her last semester of private high school, future college tuition and living expenses.
Tanya Helfand: They wanted her to move, they wanted her to fail, they wanted her out of that school.
Scott: Rachel’s lawsuit claims that she had an agreement with her parents that they would support her through college. The honor student already has a $20,000 scholarship and her parents do have a college fund set up for her.
Canning: I think she’s being enabled. I think she’s being steered down the wrong area, and it’s killing us. It really is.
Scott: But the Cannings claim their daughter left voluntarily because she didn’t like the house rules, like obeying curfews, doing chores and leaving her boyfriend that the parents thought was a bad influence.
Laurie Rush-Masuret: They said come home. She said no.
Canning: Yeah, private school, new car, college education… Yeah, that’ll come with living under our roof.
Scott: But this case is more than just a battle between parents and their teenager. The verdict could set a standard that parents be required to financially support their kids even after they become adults and move out. And in this case, even force them to pay for college.
Judge Bogaard: Are we going to condone a 13 year old to sue for an iPhone? Everyone else has one, why can’t I?
Scott: Yesterday, the judge ruled Rachel’s parents don’t need to give her financial help immediately and recommended the fractured family consider counseling.
Judge Bogaard: She’s always going to be your daughter. And they’re always going to be your parents.
Scott: The judge scheduled another hearing on the case for April.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.
Maggie: So, now that you have heard about Rachel’s case, we want to know what you think. Should parents be required to support their kids through college? Head on over to ChannelOne.com and let us know. We might just use one of your comments on tomorrow’s show.