Rachel Canning, an 18-year-old from New Jersey, has sued her parents, saying they need to pay for her private-school tuition, her college tuition and her living expenses after she claims they threw her out of the house. Her parents say they did not throw her out of the house and they shouldn't have to pay for any of that.
You probably have a lot of questions about this. Like: "What?" and "Why? and "What?" again. Calm down, guys. We're here to catch you up on his situation out of Jersey.
Here's everything you need to know about this:
In her court documents, Rachel claims she was thrown out of the house and cut off financially after her 18th birthday last November, calling it abandonment.
"My parents have rationalized their actions by blaming me for not following their rules," Rachel stated in the docs. "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."
She also claims that after she accused her parents of abuse, her school told her not to go home and they then contacted the state child protection agency. However, the officer found nothing wrong after visiting the home for several hours.
Rachel's father, Sean Canning, who is a retired police chief, said that the investigation was discontinued because child services found Rachel to be "spoiled."
Rachel is not seeking emancipation from her parents, because she claims she cannot support herself.
According to her Facebook, Rachel is working at TGIFriday's, and according to legal papers she's been accepted to a number of colleges, some coming with scholarships.
The Parents' Side
Sean Canning said that Rachel voluntarily left their home in October after refusing to abide by the house rules.
"Living in our house, there's very few rules," Rachel's dad Sean told New York's CBS 2. "There's minor chores. There's curfews. When I say curfew, it's usually after 11 o'clock at night."
Rachel's parents also say that she was an "incredibly rebellious teen" who ran away from home a lot and often got in trouble at school, twice suspended for bullying her sister, according to the Daily Record. Plus, she refused to end her relationship with her boyfriend, who they felt was a bad influence on her, so they gave her an ultimatum: Dump him or get out.
"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 said, adding that he and his wife are "distraught" and "dumbfounded" over this lawsuit. He also insists Rachel's college fund was not been withdrawn or re-allocated as she alleged in her lawsuit.
"We'd be whole and healed as a family if she were back home," he told ABC News. "And I think she's being enabled. I think she's being steered down the wrong area and it's killing us."
On Wednesday, Rachel and her parents went to family court and met with a judge, who shot Rachel's request down. Her parents will not have to pay her high school tuition, or give her a monthly allowance or provide any additional financial support.
"Do we want to establish a precedent where parents are living in constant fear of establishing basic rules of the house?" Judge Bogaard said in the hearing. "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? 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?"
Next up is the discussion on whether her parents will have to pay her college fees, but the judge delayed that ruling until April 22.
And that's the story of a teenager suing her parents, coming soon to Lifetime. The part of Rachel will be played be Erika Christensen, because look at the photo of her. Twinsies, right?
So, what do we all think of this court case? Let's talk it out below.