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Thread: Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kids for suing mom over birthday card

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    Default Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kids for suing mom over birthday card

    What has the world come to?

    If I were one of these kids, I'd be utterly embarrassed.

    World News: Judge blasts kids

    Steve Schmadeke Chicago Tribune


    CHICAGO—Raised in a $1.5 million Barrington Hills, Ill., home by their attorney father, two grown children have spent the last two years pursuing a unique lawsuit against their mom for “bad mothering” that alleges damages caused when she failed to buy toys for one and sent another a birthday card he didn't like.

    The alleged offences include failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then 7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt or she would contact police, “haggling” over the amount to spend on party dresses, and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from celebrating homecoming.

    Last week, at which point the court record stood about a foot tall, an Illinois appeals court dismissed the case, finding that none of the mother's conduct was “extreme or outrageous.” To rule in favour of her children, the court found, “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family childrearing to . . . excessive judicial scrutiny and interference.”

    In 2009, the children, represented by three attorneys including their father, Steven A. Miner, sued their mother, Kimberly Garrity. Steven II, now 23, and his sister Kathryn, now 20, sought more than $50,000 for “emotional distress.”

    Miner and Garrity were married for a decade before she filed for divorce in 1995, records show.

    Among the exhibits filed in the case is a birthday card Garrity sent her son, who in his lawsuit sought damages because the card was “inappropriate” and failed to include cash or a check. He also alleged she failed to send a card for years or, while he was in college, care packages.

    On the front of the American Greetings card is a picture of tomatoes spread across a table that are indistinguishable except for one in the middle with craft-store googly eyes attached.

    “Son I got you this Birthday card because it's just like you . . . different from all the rest!" the card reads. On the inside Garrity wrote "Have a great day! Love & Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.”

    In court papers, Garrity's attorney Shelley Smith says the “litany of childish complaints and ingratitude” in the lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by Garrity's ex-husband to “seek the ultimate revenge” of having her children accuse her of “being an inadequate mother.”

    “It would be laughable that these children of privilege would sue their mother for emotional distress, if the consequences were not so deadly serious for (Garrity),” Smith wrote. “There is no insurance for this claim, so (Garrity) must pay her legal fees, while (the children) have their father for free.”

    Messages left for Smith were not returned. Steven A. Miner, reached by phone, did not comment. In court papers he said he only filed the lawsuit after much legal research and had tried to dissuade his children from bringing the case.

    The Cook County judge who ruled on the case, Kathy Flanagan, declined to assess sanctions against Miner, but said the lawsuit amounted to nothing more than children “suing their mother for bad mothering.”

    DePaul University law professor Bruce Ottley, who co-wrote a textbook on Illinois tort law, says courts have long carved out an exception to family members suing each other, barring any extreme conduct.

    “If junior slips on the rug in the living room and sues mom or dad, that can't happen,” Ottley said.

    He said such emotional distress damages are a way for the legal system to address situations – sexual harassment for instance – where there is no physical harm. But those bringing a case to court must prove the conduct was outrageous.

    “The fact that it is such a high standard, it doesn't succeed very often,” Ottley said.

    In court filings, Garrity's attorney writes that “she does still love” her children but found that they wanted “the benefits afforded by a family relationship, but none of the restraints.”

    Steven A. Miner wrote that the case is no different than a patient suing a physician “for bad doctoring.”

    “(The children) do not view their (lawsuit) as an attack on mothering, but rather on accountability," he wrote. "Everyone makes mistakes, but . . . there must be accountability for actions. Parenting is no different.”

    Garrity called the lawsuit nothing but harassment.

    “Everything . . . shows that these children, orchestrated by their father, will stop at nothing to embarrass and financially harm their mother,” Smith wrote in a court filing. “In the process they have embarrassed themselves and left a public record blogged about on the Internet that will shadow their every future relationship.”

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    Default Re: Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kidsí for suing mom over birthday card

    WOW!!! Those kids should be ashamed and their dad obviously has brainwashed them and he should be sued for that! What HAS this world come to?!?!!??!!? How sad she is left to pay for this ridiculous suit.

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    Default Re: Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kidsí for suing mom over birthday card

    I read that article to my children and my daughter, who is 17, said those kids are douche bags! Out of the mouths of babes
    Kim, Lord Sebastian, Sir Oliver, Remy Le Beau, and Gracie Lou <3

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    Default Re: Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kidsí for suing mom over birthday card

    Is this for real?

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    Default Re: Newspaper Article: Judge blasts kidsí for suing mom over birthday card

    Quote Originally Posted by JAKEISGREAT View Post
    Is this for real?
    I was asking myself the same question!

    "Looking at a bulldog is said to cure the worse of the blues, living with one, serves to prevent them!" -Author unknown

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