Remember the (second) case of the NJ daughter who was suing her parents for college tuition? Well, now Caitlyn Ricci's attempt to have Mom and Dad fork over $16,000 for her Temple University fees is headed to NJ Appeals Court.
Ricci, 21, has been suing her parents with help from her paternal grandparents, but Michael Ricci and Maura McGarvey, who are divorced, say that they haven't seen her in two years. Michael Ricci is estranged from his parents, and says that they have created a "toxic environment" for Caitlyn. McGarvey wrote on a GoFundMe page to help with the appeal:
Within a few months of living at her grandparents, Caitlyn retained a lawyer and sued her father and me for college contribution... While suing me to pay for her tuition, she purchased a brand new car. She posts pictures of her manicures and new outfits from high-end retail shops. She got a tattoo. She complains about her professors. She complains about her job. She has learned that there are no consequences for her actions. She has learned that if she doesn't get her way, she can sue. I am worried that without any parental guidance, she will continue on this path that I know will not end well for her.
Michael Ricci and McGarvey contend that Caitlyn Ricci was kicked out of a Disney internship for underage drinking, doesn't follow to their rules and refuses to help with household chores (shades of Rachel Canning's parents).
Both Michael Ricci and McGarvey have remarried and have young children. They say that they'll pay their daughter's tuition if she goes to an in-state school. McGarvey's attorney Robert Adinolfi said, "My client's position is not that her child isn't entitled to college education. It's that her child shouldn't dictate where she goes. What if she wants to go to Penn next? Or Cornell?"
Caitlyn Ricci's lawyer says, "Since Caitlyn has moved in with her grandparents she has gotten into no trouble and her grades have gone up. She is a solid A/B college student and works a 30-hour job. Mr. Ricci should be proud of her accomplishments instead of disparaging because he doesn't want to pay for her education."
A judge decided not to hold the parents in contempt of court and force them to pay $100/day for not paying the tuition. According to NJ.com, "Judge Donald Stein said that he had not seen enough financial information to decide whether Ricci and McGarvey could feasibly pay for Temple University while raising other children in their current marriages... Stein said he had also not seen any correspondence from the university saying that Caitlyn would be kicked out of school for owing money."
"There's no immediacy here," said Stein, adding, "I've never seen a family torn apart the way this family is torn apart. It's a tragedy. Every hearing tears another wound."