After 2-years of litigation, an Illinois court has finally dismissed a case where two grown children were suing their mother for $50,000 for "emotional distress" caused from her being a bad mother.  Kimberly Garrity had the case brought against her by her now 23-year-old son Steven and 20-year-old daughter Kathryn, along with a legal team of three lawyers, one of which is the the father of Steven and Kathryn, Kimberly's ex-husband Steven A Miner.  What could cause such "emotional distress"?  The alleged "bad mothering" included...

  • Failing to take Kathryn to a car show.
  • Telling then-7-year-old Steven to buckle his car seat or she would notify the police.
  • Haggling over the amount to be spent on a party dress for Kathryn.
  • Allowing Kathryn to use the car on Homecoming night, then calling Kathryn at midnight and asking she return home.
  • No providing "so much as a care package to Steven while he was away at college, while other parents send their children items and packages on a continuous basis."
  • Sending Steven a birthday card that he didn't like and failed to include cash or a check.

This past week, the courts dismissed the case saying that nothing the mother had done was extreme or dangerous and to rule in favor of the children "could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference."

In court documents, Miner said he had only represented the children after much legal research and even tried to convince the children to not go through with the case.  Miner also said,

Steven and Kathryn "do not view their (lawsuit) as an attack on mothering, but rather on accountability.  Everyone makes mistakes, but … there must be accountability for actions. Parenting is no different."

Steven Miner, with whom the two children have lived with in his $1.5 million house, has been representing the children for free, while Kimberly will have to pay her own legal fees.