- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2014

Two New Jersey parents were just ordered by a court to pay for their adult daughter’s college tuition — despite the fact that she’s 21 years old and she’s refused to speak to them since moving in with her grandmother.

Caitlyn Ricci, 21, moved out of her parents’ home in February 2013 — though the court documents filed by Ms. Ricci’s grandmother said the parents, Michael Ricci and Maura McGarvey, who are divorced, actually gave the boot to their daughter, the New York Daily News reported.

Regardless, a judge in Camden County found in Ms. Ricci’s favor and ruled that the two parents have to pay her $16,000 for each year she stays enrolled in classes at Temple University, the news outlet said.

The couple, meanwhile, expressed dismay at the ruling, saying they never turned their backs on their daughter, and that she left voluntarily, because she didn’t wasn’t to abide house rules and do chores. They also said she’s largely ignored them since moving to her grandparents’ home in 2013.

“I send her cards and I send her poems, I send her pictures and I get no response,” the mother said, to a local television station.

The parents say they’ve only seen their daughter in court.

When Ms. Ricci moved out, she was enrolled at Gloucester County College. A judge ruled then her parents had to help pay for college tuition, as long as she continued to stay enrolled and apply for loans and scholarships.The parents say she never applied, so they quit paying, the New York Daily News reported.

But just recently, Ms. Ricci transferred to Temple University in Philadelphia, and shortly after, returned to court to demand her parents help with her tuition. The $16,000 the parents have just been ordered to pay each year represents half of Ms. Ricci’s annual Temple cost.

“I think she just wants money,” Ms. McGarvey said, the New York Daily News reported. “She wants us to pay for her education. She feels this is owed to her. Did I ever expect my daughter to sue me? No, of course not. It’s heartbreaking. What child does this? It’s insane.”

The case is akin to a previous case involving another New Jersey student — Rachel Canning, 18 — who tried to sue her parents for college tuition, after moving from their home. Ms. Canning, facing national pressure and a likely loss in court, dropped her case and moved back home.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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