Bad news for spoiled brats everywhere...

Rachel Canning is suing her parents, after leaving home, for financial support.


In bad news for spoiled teens everywhere, a New Jersey court has ruled that the parents of 18-year-old Rachel Canning won’t have to pay her legal fees, the rest of her private school tuition bill, or $US650 in weekly child support.

Judge Peter Bogaard, making the ruling on Tuesday night, said:

“We have to ask ourselves, do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in constant fear of enforcing the basic rules of the house?”

Judge Bogaard also suggested he didn’t want to set a precedent that would allow entitled kids to sue when they didn’t get everything they asked for.

“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 said.

Cheerleader and honours student Canning is still seeking a ruling that she’s not emancipated from her parents. If she wins that when the case next goes to court in April, her parents will be obligated to financially support her.

Previously Mamamia reported…

Well, this one’s a doozy.

One family’s dinner-table fights are making headlines across the world, after an American teenager decided to sue her parents for financial support after ‘running away from home’.

Rachel Canning, a high school senior, says her parents threw her out of home when she turned 18. Her father, Sean Canning, says that she was an “incredibly rebellious teen” who ran away when given an ultimatum between following house rules and dumping her boyfriend, or leaving the house.

Rachel’s parents wanted her to dump her boyfriend because they thought he was a ‘bad influence’ – so that one’s a bit subjective – but the rest of the rules Rachel refused to abide by, included doing chores and keeping a curfew, seem pretty legit.

Since the alleged “abandonment”, Rachel has been living with the family of one of her friends – and in fact, the father of that household is funding her lawsuit and paying the fees of Rachel’s attorney, Tanya N. Helfand.

Helfand is asking that Rachel’s parents pay an outstanding debt of $5,306 to her former high school, pay Rachel’s living/transportation costs and commit to a college education fund.

Rachel’s father, Sean Canning, says that Rachel is being “enabled” by her friend’s family, who probably mean well but don’t understand the circumstances of her leaving home.


The Daily Record has reported that Sean Canning said, “We love our child and miss her. This is terrible. It’s killing me and my wife. We have a child we want home. We’re not Draconian and now we’re getting hauled into court. She’s demanding that we pay her bills but she doesn’t want to live at home and she’s saying, ‘I don’t want to live under your rules.”

“Sean Canning also says that his daughter’s college is fund is still available to her, and has not been withdrawn as alleged in the lawsuit.”

“We’re heartbroken, but what do you do when a child says ‘I don’t want your rules but I want everything under the sun and you to pay for it?’”

Sean Canning also says that his daughter’s college is fund is still available to her and has not been withdrawn as alleged in the lawsuit.

The story then gets a bit more complicated, as Rachel only decided to go ahead with the lawsuit, after her school advised her not to go home and contacted the Division of Child Protection and Permanency on her behalf.

Rachel reportedly alleged abuse on the part of her parents when talking to her school, although it is not clear exactly what her claims are. In her court papers Rachel only said that, “They stopped paying my high school tuition to punish the school and me and have redirected my college fund, indicating their refusal to afford me an education as a punishment.”

Sean Canning says that a representative from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency then visited their house but came to the conclusion that Rachel was “spoiled”. Her parents have also said that Rachel was in therapy and supposed to be taking medication at the time when she moved out of home.

Honestly, we’re a little confused by this whole situation.

Is this the case of a bright young girl attempting to strike out on her own and make it to college, and escape from her parents’ draconian and overbearing influence in her life? Or is it the case of a selfish and bratty teen not wanting to do chores around the house, but still wanting her parents top fund her lifestyle? OR is this a just a family dispute that should be resolved in private?

The case will be heard today, we’ll keep you updated as further details come to light.

What do you think about most cases where children sue their parents: ridiculous or legitimate?