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New Jersey teen Rachel Canning formally drops lawsuit against parents

The highly unusual case that made headlines across the country has officially come to an end, as the New Jersey teenager who sued her parents formally dropped the lawsuit on Tuesday.

Rachel Canning, 18, appeared in front of a state Superior Court judge along with her attorney, parents/defendants, and their attorney to provide a short testimony before Judge Peter A. Bogaard dismissed the complaint.

Canning returned home to live with her parents on March 11 after Bogaard ultimately ruled against her. Her attorney, Tanya N. Helfand, then filed an emergency application to conduct a closed hearing, seal court records, and appoint a new guardian, claiming that her client experienced pressure to drop the suit from both her parents and the public. However, the judge turned down the request and called Canning's decision today "knowing and voluntary."

The case caught people's attention in late February, when Canning appeared in court to accuse her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, of "constructive abandonment" by ceasing to help financially support her, including payment for the rest of her senior year at Morris Catholic High School. She requested child support payments and her impending college tuition paid in full.

Before reuniting with her family, Canning had been living with her best friend's family since Oct. 30, claiming she had been kicked out (her parents claim she left on her own, not wanting to follow house rules). Attorney John Inglesino, the father of her friend, had bankrolled the suit.

NBC Philadelphia notes that Bogaard had previously scheduled another court date for April to address the broader question of whether Canning's parents are financially obligated to support their 18-year-old. However, now that Canning has dropped the suit, that date is no longer necessary.

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