Aubrey Ireland says her parents' monitoring of her life caused her so much embarrassment that she was forced to apply for a stalking protection order. But Julie and David Ireland say their daughter won the order only because she is a "good actor."
According to ABC15.com, Aubrey Ireland, 21, filed the request in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in September. When court-ordered mediation in the case failed, the court was forced to grand Aubrey's request for a stalking protection order.
According to the CBC, the 21-year-old dean's list musical theater major at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, told the court that her parents' close monitoring of her life makes her feel like a "dog with a collar on." She told the Hamilton County court that her parents traveled regularly over 600 miles from the their home in Leawood, Kansas to the university for surprise visits, part of their efforts to monitor her activities.
The Cincinnati Inquirer reports that Aubrey's parents admitted to installing a key-logging software on her computer and cellphone.
The Inquirer reports that Aubrey's mother, Julie Ireland, said they were simply trying to protect their daughter and ensure she did not ruin her chances at success. Julie said: "She is an only child who was catered to all her life by loving parents. We’re not bothering her. We're not a problem."
Aubrey, however, disagreed with her parents. In an October 9 court hearing, she said: "It's just been really embarrassing and upsetting to have my parents come to my university when I'm a grown adult, and just basically slander my name and follow me around."
Aubrey told the court that her parents accused her of using illegal drugs and of sexual promiscuity. They also alleged that she had mental-health problems. ABC15.com reports she filed for a stalking protection order after her parents threatened school authorities that they could use the courts to force a professional assessment of her mental capabilities and health. According to the Daily Mail, Aubrey's parents threatened the school authorities that their action could "attract a lot of publicity."
During the court-ordered mediation process, the school authorities and other mediators sided with Aubrey, telling her parents they were the problem and not Aubrey. Aubrey alleged her parents have been diagnosed with co-dependency disorder, but her parents accused her of lying and "acting." Before the court order, the university hired security guards to deny David and Julie Ireland access to their daughter's academic musical shows, The Cincinnati Inquirer reports.
ABC15.com reports that Aubrey's parents had demanded she repay $60,000 they had spent on tuition, but the court denied them. After Ireland’s parents withdrew financial support, the school gave her a full scholarship.
After the failure of mediation efforts, Judge Jody Luebber ruled in favor of the 21-year-old by issuing a stalking protection order against her parents. According to CBC, David and Julie Ireland must stay at least 152 meters away from their only daughter. ABC15.com reports the order lasts until at least Sept. 23, 2013.
The Daily Mail reports that Kenyatta Mickles, a professor of clinical law at the University of Cincinnati, said the parents suffered an obsession with controlling their daughter.
CBC reports that according to documents available through the Hamilton County court clerk's site, anyone requesting a stalking protection order must "describe the pattern of conduct (two or more instances) that caused [them] to believe that the Respondent will cause physical harm or cause mental distress to [them] or another family member."
According to the courthouse documents, people under the age of 18 cannot file a stalking protection order, or have a stalking protection order filed against them.
ABC 15 reports that the case was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday and has attracted a lot of media attention.
Digital Journal reporter notes, however, that while there can be no justification for parents seeking to control the life of an adult child, the story from the perspective of the parents is neglected by the media. Had Audrey been involved in dangerous and self-destructive activities in the past that got her overprotective parents nervous about her safety?