Honor student who sued parents returns home

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm •  Published: March 12, 2014
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ROSELAND, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey honor student who sued to get her parents to support her after she moved out of their home has reunited with them, and the family is now asking for privacy.

Rachel Canning moved back in with her parents after speaking with her mother Tuesday, but without any promises of financial support or other consideration, according to lawyers for the teen and her parents.

A state judge Wednesday denied a request from Canning's attorney asking for a court-appointed guardian for the 18-year-old to be paid for by her parents. The denied application for immediate relief also requested that the courtroom be closed for future hearings, the records sealed and all parties prohibited from speaking to the media.

"It is critical that if Rachel does dismiss this matter that she does so of her own free will and not due to the extreme pressure of her parents and the media," her attorney, Tanya N. Helfand, wrote in the court filing.

Phone and email messages to Helfand were not immediately returned.

Angelo Sarno, the lawyer for Cannings' parents, said that the notoriety surrounding the suit had damaged the family.

"This is a matter that should have been brought in some counselor's office, not into a courtroom," Sarno said. "There's a long road ahead, this is not something that's going to happen overnight. The point of this process? The healing needs to begin."

Last week, State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard denied the teen's request for child support and to have her parents pay her remaining high school tuition. But the judge scheduled an April court date to consider the over-arching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter.

Bogaard sounded skeptical of some of the claims in the lawsuit, saying it could lead to teens "thumbing their noses" at their parents, leaving home and then asking for financial support.