An Illinois appeals court dismissed two Chicago siblings' $50,000 lawsuit against their mom for not sending them birthday cards, changing her name after she divorced their father, and just generally being mean.
Stephen Miner, 23, and Kathryn Miner, 20, launched the lawsuit against their mother, Kimberly Garrity, in 2009. One of their three lawyers was their father, and Garrity's ex-husband, Stephen A. Miner.
According to court documents, the pair divorced in 1995, and the kids went on to live with their father.
The lawsuit sought damages for "emotional distress" based on a series of allegations, including that Garrity refused to bring her daughter to an auto show and a car race, wouldn't buy her a homecoming dress, made her return the car early on homecoming night, didn't send her son birthday or Christmas gifts for many years, sent her kids cards with no gifts or money in them, didn't send her son care packages in college and lived with another man and changed her last name after she divorced from their father, thus "causing attention" when she attended school events.
The most serious allegations in the lawsuit were that Garrity threatened to call the police on Stephen after he took back a homemade jewelry box he'd given her as a gift, alleging he stole the diamond necklace in it, and once smacked him on the head, giving him recurring headaches.
In her ruling, Judge Kathy Flanagan noted the kids were never in danger and their allegations were all "petty grievances of parental attention or inadequacy."
"In essence, the plaintiffs are suing their mother for bad mothering. Given the facts and circumstances here, it appears that they will never be able to allege any claims for emotional distress and no amendment can cure the deficiencies here."