New Jersey teen drops lawsuit against parents over tuition money

NEW YORK Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:21pm EDT

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

New Jersey student Rachel Canning attends a hearing in her lawsuit against her parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning, in Morristown March 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey teenager who drew international attention when she sued her parents for financial support after leaving home in a dispute on Tuesday dropped the case against them, according to court records.

Rachel Canning, 18, filed papers to dismiss the lawsuit in New Jersey family court, saying the decision was voluntary.

The lawsuit's dismissal ends a public battle between Canning and her parents that raised questions about the obligations of non-divorced parents in New Jersey to continue to financially support adult children after they leave home.

Canning returned to her parents' home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, last week after a four-month estrangement that began when she turned 18, the legal age of adulthood.

She had sued her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, for her private high school tuition, living expenses and access to a college fund, arguing that though she did not reside with them, she was not legally emancipated and therefore was entitled to their financial care.

Her parents said they would continue to pay for their daughter's education and expenses if she returned home to complete high school.

Canning contended in her lawsuit that she was emotionally abused and effectively abandoned. Her parents argued that their daughter had disciplinary problems at home and school and would not conform to house rules that included curfews and chores.

During the estrangement, Rachel Canning had been living with a friend's family, who also funded her lawsuit.

Attorneys for Rachel Canning and her parents did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Leslie Adler)

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