New Jersey high school senior, Rachel Canning took her family to court on March 5, on claims that they threw her out of their home and are now refusing to help pay for schooling. And when they entered the court room, you won’t believe what the judge decided.
When Rachel Canning took her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning to court on March 5, she made the case that while her parents were fully financially capable of supporting her and paying for her college expenses, they refused to help her, caused her eating disorder, and kicked her out of the house.
Rachel Canning Sues Parents Over Not Paying For School
“We’re being sued by our own child,” Rachel’s father Sean Canning said in court after his daughter claimed that he and his wife not only cut her off financially but also that he was to blame for his daughter’s bulimia and that he had been “inappropriately affectionate” with her. “I am dumbfounded, so is my wife and other daughters.”
Rachel is currently a cheerleader at Morris Catholic High School from Lincoln Park, New Jersey. On March 5, she took her parents to court at the New Jersey State Superior Court, where a judge denied her request for money to pay for monthly expenses and her monthly high school bills.
In court documents, she claimed her parents abandoned when she turned 18 and that they won’t pay for her to go to college — she wants to added University of Vermont and has a $20,000 scholarship. She is currently living with her best friend’s family — including her attorney and freeholder John Inglesnino.
In the documents, obtained by DailyMail, Rachel wrote:
I have been subjected to severe and excessive verbal and physical abuse by my mother and father. As I was growing up my mother was always demeaning to me. She called me “fat” and “porky”. My father demanded that I get a basketball scholarship. My father spent a lot of time with me on weekends while I was in basketball tournaments. My mother seemed angry about this. He forbade me to have a boyfriend when I was a high school freshman, and threatened to beat him up. In sophomore year I developed an eating disorder and my weight dropped to 105 pounds. In my junior year, I was down to 92 pounds. My mother kept screaming at me, saying I was mentally messed up. My father was angry that I wasn’t going to be able to play basketball because I needed to gain weight. My father gave me the sense that he was inappropriately affectionate with me. He mentioned frequently that my relationship in his eyes was not one of a daughter, but more than that.
In the summer before my senior year, he got me drunk at a wedding and said I was his date. He kept giving me shots and mango martinis. I blacked out that night and woke up at the toilet bowl in our room and he was in bed. He constantly put his arm around me in public and would kiss me on the cheek. When we moved to Hackettstown, he once woke me up at 2am to come down to play beer pong with him. The refrigerator was about 75 per cent full of liquor.’
She also explained that at a high school dance she was accused of being drunk and had to call her mother in a teacher’s presence. She was not drunk, and the teacher heard her parents screaming obscenities at her — Department of Children and Families were called, and her parents cut her off financially and refused to pay the private high school tuition.
Rachel’s Parents ‘Distraught’ Over Daughter’s Claims
“I know Rachel is A. a good kid and B. an incredibly rebellious teen, and she’s getting some terrible information,” Sean said, saying that in reality, his daughter ran away in November and that he and his wife set very few rules for her. Rachel said that she was given the option to dump her boyfriend or move out.
“We have a college fund available, but it is the equivalent of shopping at a high-end and sending us the bill,” he added. “Me and my wife are distraught.”
His wife Elizabeth responded to Rachel’s claims, denying ever calling her “fat,” and saying that Rachel had a positive relationship with her father.
“We are big believers in building our daughter’s self-esteem and always telling them how beautiful they are,” Elizabeth said. “Rachel’s allegation that there was anything other than a father/daughter relationship is utterly offensive… there was never anything remotely sexual or conduct that could be considered in any way sexual. My husband loves his daughter – as a daughter – nothing more. She was the apple of his eye.”
She also commented on the claim that Department of Children and Families were called, saying, “In fact, the case worker told us that it was in her opinion that we spoiled our daughter. We gave her too much. Rachel also told the worker that she had threatened suicide and my reaction was that I “high-fived” my husband. This was so outrageously offensive that it did not deserve to be addressed, but we gladly addressed it with the caseworker.”
Judge Denies Rachel’s Requests, Asks Counsel To Consider ‘The Next Step’
The judge ultimately took the parents’ side, rejecting Rachel’s request for $800 a week for living expenses and to pay for the rest of high school.
“I’m not going to put myself in anyone’s shoes, he’s (father Sean) trying to raise a child,” Judge Peter Bogaard said in the courtroom. “It’s clear to me all the positive qualities Rachel obviously has, in terms of sports and academics, but I’m not going to step on a father for how he tries to get his child on the right tracks when she has obviously come off the tracks, to put it mildly. The court was called upon to find whether immediate financial relief was needed… It is not necessary….”
He later added that if he did approve all of her requests, what would that prove?
“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,” the judge added. “If they set a rule a child doesn’t like, the child can move out, move in with another family, seek child support, cars, cell phone and a few hundred grand to go to college. Counsel, also needs to ask themselves, what is the next step…. Are we going to open the gates for a 12-year-old to sue for an Xbox, a 13-year-old to sue for an iPhone… what about a 15-year-old asking for a 60 inch TV…. I want both counsels to think of the potential slippery slope here. I think everyone needs to take a step back and realize this family and Rachel in particular is well worth the effort to salvage or attempt to.”
They are set to attend court again in April to settle the college funds.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you think Rachel should win the case? Or are you on her parents’ side? Let us know.
— Emily Longeretta