Children Sue Mom Over No College Care Packages

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 30, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In a strange case of kids sue mom, Kathryn Miner, 20, and her brother Steven Miner, 23, filed a lawsuit against their mother two years ago, claiming that during their posh and often privileged upbringing in Chicago's suburb of Barrington Hills, her parenting caused them to suffer from emotional distress.

Last week, an Illinois appellate court dismissed that lawsuit, calling it no more than a case of alleged "bad mothering," declining to "open the floodgates" and "subject family child rearing to...excessive judicial scrutiny and interference."

This statement gets to the heart of why courts are reluctant to get involved in family disputes without evidence of abuse or extreme behavior.

There is often a fear that they will be called upon to scrutinize behavior that a child or family member may not like, but is perfectly legal. Courts do not want to become around the clock family mediators, and nor do they want to interfere with a parent's constitutionally protected right to rear a child unless absolutely necessary.

And in the case of the Miners' Barrington Hills upbringing, judicial scrutiny is definitely not necessary.

Amongst the complaints levied against their mother, the siblings allege that she:

  • failed to take her daughter to a car show
  • forced her son to wear a seat belt
  • enforced a party dress budget
  • set a curfew
  • sent a birthday card without a present
  • failed to send college care packages

Even if this wasn't a case of kids sue mom, these allegations wouldn't meet the extreme and outrageous conduct required to allege a successful emotional distress claim. These appear to be the actions of a forgetful, yet loving, mother--not a monster.

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