Judge to Teen Suing Parents for Tuition: Not So Fast

NJ court sees no emergency, worries about precedent
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2014 9:21 AM CST
Judge to Teen Suing Parents for Tuition: Not So Fast
Elizabeth and Sean Canning, parents of Rachel Canning, cry during a hearing at the Morris County Courthouse, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Morristown, NJ.   (AP Photo/The Star-Ledger, John O'Boyle, Pool)

A New Jersey high school senior who's suing her parents for financial support, including college tuition, hit a setback yesterday: A judge in Morristown rejected an emergency order that would have meant more than $600 each week for honor student Rachel Canning, the Star-Ledger reports. Judge Peter Bogaard argued that there's no emergency in the case since Canning's private school will allow her to continue to attend despite money owed and college application deadlines aren't until May 1.

In the meantime, "do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?" asked Bogaard. He pointed to a "slippery slope," the AP notes: "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?" During the hearing, Canning and her parents hardly looked at each other, the Star-Ledger notes. Now, the case could go to trial. Canning's lawyer holds that she is unemancipated from her parents and needs their financial support; the parents' lawyer says that since she left home by choice, she's now emancipated. (More Rachel Canning stories.)

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