Where’s the poor lass to turn and what’s she to do?
How about this idea: Move into her best friend’s house whose father just happens to be an attorney?
And guess what? The poor lass is suing her parents to pay her outstanding tuition, current living and transportation expenses, her legal fees of $12.5k+, and to commit an existing college fund to her.
Talk about a story from the realm of bizarro! But, it's true!
The student is a Morris Catholic High School senior, Rachel Canning. In court papers, Rachel alleges that her parents have abandoned her and is dependent as a student upon her parents for support. Rachel's father, Sean, is Lincoln Park’s retired Chief of Police and currently serves as Township Administrator of Mount Olive (NJ). John Inglesino, the father of Rachel's best friend, is an attorney and former Morris County (NJ) Freeholder. Inglesino is funding Rachel’s lawsuit and has hired the attorney who is representing Rachel.
But, then, there's this:
- Long before moving out, Rachel had been seeing a therapist and is supposed to be taking medication. Last fall, Rachel had disciplinary problems at school last fall and was suspended twice.
- When Rachel alleged that her parents abused her, Morris Catholic advised Rachel not to return home. The school contacted the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) based upon the allegations and "some difficult meetings between Rachel and Mr. Canning."
- The Morris Catholic English instructor and Campus Minister witnessed an encounter between Rachel and her mother in mid-October 2013. Mrs. Canning is said to have called her daughter a foul name and said that she didn't want to speak to her daughter again.
- A DCP&P representative visited the Canning's residence for nearly three hours last fall. Mr. Canning claims that representative found nothing amiss, concluding that Rachel was "spoiled." The investigation was discontinued.
In court papers, Rachel’s father claims well-intentioned but ill-informed people--including the Inglesinos--are enabling Rachel. He alleges that his daughter voluntarily left the family’s home. He 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.”
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?
Did Rachel emancipate and remove herself from her parent's "sphere of influence" by voluntarily moving out of the family's home because Rachel wouldn't abide by her parents' rules?
That's the question Judge Peter Bogaard will decide at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in the Family Part of New Jersey State Superior Court in Morristown.
According to family practice attorneys, the mere fact that a child has turned 18 is not an automatic reason to terminate financial support. A key New Jersey State Court decision specifies that, "A child’s admittance and attendance at college will overcome the rebuttable presumption that a child may be emancipated at age 18."
Kinda makes "Jersey Shore" look tame by comparison, no?
Let the discussion begin…
To read the Daily Record article, click on the following link: