MORRISTOWN, N.J. (USA TODAY) — Rachel Canning, the teenager who moved out of her parents' home and then sued them for support and college costs, has gotten a domestic violence temporary restraining order against her boyfriend — the man her parents had wanted her to stop seeing.
Canning, who graduated from Morris Catholic High School this spring and is headed for Western New England University this fall on a $56,000 scholarship, accused Lucas Kitzmiller, 18, of choking her with his hands during a quarrel early this past Sunday morning, according to Canning's father, Sean Canning.
The incident allegedly occurred after midnight Saturday into the early-morning hours Sunday.
The alleged assault of Canning, 18, by Kitzmiller occurred on the street. She says that she fled in her vehicle — and that Kitzmiller tried to stop her — then she drove to Denville Police headquarters. She filed a domestic violence complaint against Kitzmiller and a temporary restraining order was issued by a municipal court judge based upon her allegations.
Kitzmiller was not immediately available for comment. The pair are to appear Wednesday in Superior Court in Morristown for a hearing on whether the restraining order should be made final. Kitzmiller could agree to the restraints or a trial could be held where the order could be dismissed by the judge or Canning could seek its dismissal.
Sean Canning said his daughter did not seek to file criminal charges against Kitzmiller, but the underlying basis of the restraining order is an alleged criminal act.
Kitzmiller's relationship with Rachel Canning was one of the key areas of contention between her and her parents; they wanted her to break up with him, but she refused. She moved out of her parents' home to the residence of attorney John Inglesino, and in February his family and an attorney filed suit on her behalf requiring the Cannings to pay support and Rachel's upcoming college costs.
The lawsuit attracted international attention but was withdrawn in March when Rachel Canning reconciled with her parents and returned home to Lincoln Park.
Sean Canning said that since his daughter's return, the household has been peaceful and he and his wife had decided not to criticize Kitzmiller when Rachel continued to see him on an on-again, off-again basis.
"She has repaired her relationship with us," Sean Canning said. "She went off the deep end in the past, but things are good now. We said to her 'Listen, you're an adult. You make your own choices.' "
The actual domestic violence restraining order and complaint filed to receive them are considered confidential documents by the court.