Doofus Of The Day #512

I’m seeing red at this report in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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 offenses 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 favor 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.

There’s more at the link.

Why did no-one teach these precious little darlings to suck it up? All parents screw up occasionally, usually on a pretty regular basis. It’s part of being human. None of us are perfect. Those parents who screw up more publicly and/or spectacularly and/or criminally than usual normally lose their children to foster care, where they’ll (at least in theory) have a better chance of a decent upbringing. However, that’s the exception. The rest of us take the good our parents give us, learn to live with the not-so-good, and (hopefully) do our best not to repeat their mistakes with our own kids when they come along. (We usually manage to make more than enough mistakes of our own, without our parents’ help . . . )

For these kids to turn around and sue their mother for ‘bad parenting’ demonstrates how mind-bogglingly out of touch they are with reality. As for their father not only allowing the suit to go forward, but actually representing them in court, I can only presume he wanted to make his ex-wife look bad. If not for that, I daresay he’d remember that when it comes to parenting, both father and mother have their part to play, balancing (and sometimes correcting) the other. The very fact that he appears never to have bothered to teach that to his children, speaks volumes.

The ‘children’ (now 20 and 23 years old, respectively) and their father appear to qualify in spades for our Doofus award.



  1. worse than that, how on earth is it "bad mothering" to set some (apparently very small) limitations on a child's behavior, like a midnight curfew in high school and a budget for clothing?

  2. Case dismissed. Bailiff, take the plaintiffs and their lawyer out back and beat them within an inch of their lives.

    What that mother did was not neglectful or abusive. Telling your kids to come in before 0dark30, put on their seatbelts, and live within their means is good parenting, not actionable abuse.

  3. Seems to me the father is the bad parent here. Hell of a way to use the kids to spite the ex. Is it any wonder his kids are behaving like jerks? Can he be disbarred for abusing the legal system like that?

  4. I better start saving up for my legal defense fund… The list of "offenses" my kids could come after me for would require many, many reams of paper!

    Seriously, though – if there wasn't any actual abuse, this case should have been laughed out of court before it ever started. And the father ought to be disbarred for bringing such a frivolous and groundless lawsuit. Hope they were at least forced to pay all the court costs!!

  5. Suz got it, the "father" (and I use that word only technically) is using his kids as a weapon against his ex, utterly despicable.

  6. Is there a maximum age for spanking? Because the kids and their sire all could do with an application of the Board of Education to their Seat of Learning!


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