The Spoilt Girl Lawsuit

The Spoilt Girl Lawsuit


What sort of kid sues her parents?  And – perhaps more interestingly – what sort of lawyer acts for her?

It depends on the circumstances?  Okay.  It does, but when a Superior Court judge in New Jersey ruled that the plaintiff’s parents should not be order to pay private school and college tuition for their 18-year-old daughter who moved out of their house and sued for financial support, questions go asked about a range of things.

“Do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?” the Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard asked when deciding the case about Rachel Canning a  senior student at a Catholic High School.

Rachel was suing Mom and Dad, AKA Sean and Elizabeth Canning,  to pay her child support, her private school tuition, medical and related bills, college expenses and legal fees. Canning is an honor student and athlete, but her parents have stopped paying her bills because, they say, she would not obey their rules.

Bogaard refused to issue the requested emergency order, which would have awarded the teen more than $600 a week. reported that the judge said no emergency exists because Morris Catholic has said Canning may continue attending the school despite her tuition not being paid, and because the final deadline of May 1 has not yet arrived for college applications. Morris Catholic’s annual tuition is $12,700; Rachel owes $5,306, court papers say.

Allowing the emergency order “would represent essentially a new law or a new way of interpreting an existing law,” Bogaard said. “A kid could move out and then sue for an XBox, an iPhone or a 60-inch television.”

The judge’s decision followed a more than two-hour hearing in Morristown. The Cannings and their daughter sat on opposite sides of the courtroom, rarely exchanging glances. Both sides appeared tense and sad. Several of Rachel Canning’s friends were seated in the gallery.

Bogaard scheduled another hearing for April 22. The case may be headed for trial on the key issue of whether Rachel Canning was “emancipated” from her parents when she defied their order to stop seeing her boyfriend and instead moved out of their house on Oct. 30, two days before she turned 18.

Rachel Canning said in court papers that she has been living for the past four months at the home of her best friend, the daughter of Morris County attorney and former Freeholder John Inglesino, who has “advanced” her legal fees.

Her parents countered that she voluntarily left home because she didn’t want to abide by house rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend they said was a bad influence.

Her Lawyer – Who was he?

So who advised Rachel Canning in this matter?

John Inglesino is a lawyer regarded as one of New Jersey’s 100 “most powerfull” people and who is providing a home to  18-year-old Rachel Canning.

Inglesino is a well-connected attorney and former freeholder in Morris County and serves as township attorney for Parsippany, planning board attorney for Morristown and Florham Park, special counsel to Lopatcong and Rahway, and as general counsel to the Morris County Insurance Fund.

In a certification submitted in Canning’s lawsuit, Inglesino said he and his wife invited Rachel to stay in their house because “Jamie wanted to help her friend” and he called her “extremely intelligent.”

“My wife and I remain mystified as to how the Cannings, or any other parent, could simply decide to disavow themselves of their daughter and abandon her in her senior year of high school – particularly a daughter such as Rachel,” Inglesino said. He noted that Rachel has been accepted at several colleges.

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