In a notoriously high-profile lawsuit, 18-year-old cheerleader Rachel Canning claimed her parents had thrown her out of their house, and sued them for her her tuition. Not only did Canning lose the case – she has now also agreed to move back in with her parents.
Also amongst the Morris County teenager’s requests were demands that her parents pay child support, her private school tuition at Morris Catholic High, and her legal fees.
Last week, a judge refused to grant Rachel the emergency order that would have required her parents to make the payments.
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Angelo Sarno, the Canning parents’ attorney, said that Rachel “has returned home and reunited with her parents and siblings” in their Lincoln Park home.
Sarno also specified that her return is “not contingent on any financial and/or other considerations.”
In October, Canning had moved into the family home of her best friend, whose father, John Inglesino, is a wealthy attorney and minor political figure.
John Inglesino had reportedly not only encouraged Rachel to sue her parents, but had even advanced her legal fees.
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Sean and Elizabeth Canning maintain that their daughter moved out of their house voluntarily because she did not like the house rules they had established, which included a curfew, chores, and a request to reconsider her “unsavory boyfriend.”
Sarno has said that the case provided unwelcome publicity for the family, and has had adverse effects on Rachel’s siblings. The family has asked for privacy in the aftermath of the case.
“They’re not athletes, they’re not actors. They didn’t ask for any of this,” Sarno said on Wednesday of the sudden and unwanted attention the family is now facing. “Everyone should be happy today. This is a happy situation.”
The judge scheduled a court date in April, at which time the question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter will be addressed.
State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard noted that some of the claims in the lawsuit could pave an undesirable precedent for teenagers who leave home and then ask for financial support.
“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 asked. “We should be mindful of a potentially slippery slope.”
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