The high school cheerleader and honor student who's suing to force her parents to pay her college tuition has lost her first legal battle. A judge said Tuesday that the girl's parents won't have to cough up child support or pay her legal fees.
Rachel Canning, 18, claimed her parents kicked her out of the house because they didn't like her boyfriend. Sean and Elizabeth Canning say their daughter left home to rebel against their very reasonable house rules.
New Jersey judge Peter Bogaard denied Rachel's request for $650 a week in child support, the remainder of her tuition bill at her private Catholic high school, and attorney's fees, and said her lawsuit sets a dangerous precedent.
"We have to ask ourselves, do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in constant fear of enforcing the basic rules of the house?" he said. "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?"
Judge Bogaard also compared the teen to entitled younger kids who don't get the toys they want.
"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.
Rachel is still seeking a ruling that she's not emancipated from her parents. If she wins, they'd be obligated to support her financially, even if they're not forced to pay for her first-choice college, the University of Vermont.
Both sides are due back in court April 22.