College Student’s Suit Against Parent For Tuition Moves to Higher Court

Caitlyn Ricci’s lawsuit against her parents asking that they pay for her college tuition is heading to higher court in New Jersey. Caitlyn is 21 years old and no longer residing with either of her parents, who divorced many years ago.

The case is a unique one to say the least and has current case reviewer, Judge Donald Stein, scratching his head over a resolution to the complaint demanding $16,000 in tuition fees be paid by the parents of the college co-ed. He said that no contempt charges will be filed against either parent at this time.  Judge Stein also said, “I’ve really never seen a family torn apart the way this family is torn apart.”

The case started back in May after Caitlyn decided to move out of her mother’s house and into the home of her grandparents, who are paying her legal fees and support the suit filed against her parents. Her mother, Maura McGarvey, said that her daughter didn’t want to follow the abide by the house rules and rebelled in typical teenage fashion.

The family dynamic changed after that and resulted in a lawsuit filed by Caitlyn a few days before Mother’s Day. The complaint filed, requested that her parents still pay for her education even though she no longer lived with either parent and is an adult.

Her parents worked together and submitted a counter motion to emancipate their daughter. They felt that since Caitlyn is an adult and voluntarily moved out, that she should be responsible for her own expenses.

Caitlyn’s father, Michael Ricci, said “I think she just wants us to pay for her education. She feels this is owed to her.”

Her attorney, Andrew Rochester, says that his client did not elect to leave home, but was actually told to leave by her mother and that the family dynamic was anything but pleasant. He says, “They questioned her morality. They accused her of awful, awful things.”

Her parents say they are more than willing to pay her tuition at a college in New Jersey, but only if Caitlyn moves back home and follows their rules.

Caitlyn has instead applied to Temple University and hasn’t made any attempts to contact her parents or see them in two years. McGarvey said, “I spend a lot of time looking at her, looking over trying to get eye contact and she won’t look. All you want to do is grab her and shake her and look at her and tell her you love her and tell her we can work this out.”

Her parents stand firm in their refusal to pay her tuition fees. They plan to appeal rulings requiring them to pay, until there is a resolution that bridges the gap between in their relationship with their daughter.

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