Rachel Canning, the New Jersey teenager who sued her parents for financial support after she left their home, has proved Thomas Wolfe wrong: It seems you can, indeed, go home again, despite legal unpleasantness.
Canning, 18, a cheerleader, athlete and honor student, returned to the safety and security of her family in Roseland, N.J.
Her lawyer, Angelo Sarno told reporters that the teenager "has returned home and reunited with her parents and siblings. Her return home is not contingent on any financial and/or other considerations."
At a news conference, he said the suit Canning had brought against her parents had been settled "amicably," but refused additional comment. He also asked the media to respect the privacy of the family, which he said had suffered during the proceedings.
Canning created a national stir when she sued her parents for child support and for tuition for high school. A judge ruled against her initial request but the case was scheduled to be argued next month on the larger question of whether her parents were obligated to support Canning after she left home.
The teenager left her parents' home on Oct. 30, days before she turned 18. In court filings she accused her parents of being abusive and insisted she was old enough to do what she wanted.
Her parents, retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter chose to leave home after refusing to adhere to reasonable rules, including being respectful, doing chores and keeping a curfew. The parents also asked her to end a relationship with a boyfriend.
In the first round of court proceedings, State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard sounded skeptical of some of the teen's request, saying it could lead to teenagers "thumbing their noses" at their parents, leaving home and then asking 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."
Canning had been living in Rockaway Township with the family of her best friend. The friend's father, former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, was paying for the lawsuit.