2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

“The rule of law was not adhered to and the entire trial was simulated litigation… ALL Judge Knutson’s orders are not merely voidable, these orders are already VOID.” ~ K.B. Complaint Against Judge Knutson

Shame on you for allowing this family to be torn apart by your orders. Shame on you for forcing children into a relationship with a father they are terrified of. Shame on you for forcing these children to make the drastic decision to go on the run in order to protect themselves…In cases like this I have to wonder how our system got to the point that destroying families in today’s society is ok.” ~ L.M. letter to Judge David Knutson

(Hastings, Minn) A complaint filed against Judge David L. Knutson on September 4, 2013, outlines his mishandling of the Grazzini-Rucki case. The complaint also describes how Judge Knutson’s reckless actions contributed to ongoing chaos in the lives of the Rucki children, and deprived Sandra Grazzini-Rucki of her rights. The complaint concludes that Judge Knutson acted with malice, that there is no other reasonable explanation for his conduct.

According to the complaint, “The record on case no. 19AV-FA-11-1273 shows a disturbing pattern where throughout, Judge Knutson has engaged in multiple acts of misconduct and actual bias, has repeatedly violated parties rights, and consistently fails to follow the law…

Judge Knutson has repeatedly denied the mother (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki) any and all contact with her children without any findings of endangerment, abuse or parental unfitness. In addition, throughout this case, Judge Knutson has made absurd statements in an attempt to somehow justify abuses of discretion.

The complaint accuses Judge Knutson of a “pervasive pattern of misconduct and impropriety” that includes:

-Bias, “acts for improper purpose to deny one party’s fundamental rights

-Making false statements of material facts

-Failure to follow the law

-Failure to follow the children’s “Best Interest”

-That Judge Knutson ordered Sandra to use specific providers he hand selected under the guise of therapy; yet these providers do not provide therapy. Rather, they provide forensic evidence for use against the mother.

-Judge Knutson abused his authority by forcing Sandra, under the threat of arrest, to disclose her location and phone number to a known abuser (whom she received a protective order against). This directly contradicts  a Minnesota law requiring judges to protect victims of stalking and abuse, and to prevent such disclosures of information to the abuser.

-Acting with malice

Read complaint in its entirety: Complaint Against Dakota County Judge David Knutson (Red Herring Alert)

On September 11, 2013, attorney Michelle MacDonald filed a Federal Civil Rights Action against Judge Knutson on behalf on Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

The Grazzini-Rucki custody trial commenced one week after this complaint was filed, on September 12, 2013. Which means that Judge Knutson was under investigation while presiding over a case that he was accused of misconduct on. Judge Knutson was also presiding over a case while a Federal Civil Rights Action against him was pending.

At the beginning of trial, MacDonald asked Judge Knutson to recuse himself, which he refused to do stating, “With respect to you notifying me that I’ve been made party to some Federal lawsuit for civil rights violations, I’m not aware of that. I have no information about that. I’m not concerned about that. We’re going to proceed…” MacDonald presses on, reminding Judge Knutson that she wrote him a letter to inform him about the lawsuit. Judge Knutson’s initial response is evasive then he admits he did receive notice of the lawsuit, and recounts some details. Which means Judge Knutson is caught lying in court. Judge Knutson refuses to recuse himself, and moves forward with trial stating “I‘m not going to hold that against your client or prejudice your client for something you do” and states a Federal Civil Rights Action is “irrelevant“.

The Board of Judicial Standards responded on November 12, 2013, and determined, despite overwhelming evidence of each of these claims, that the complaint “
required no further action“. The Board further determined that the allegations did not sway them to take disciplinary action because the merits were not proven with a “clear and convincing standard“. It is unclear if the Board was aware of Judge Knutson’s conduct during the custody trial.

The Civil Rights Action faced a similar fate, excusing Judge Knutson’s actions under the guide of judicial immunity.

On November 25, 2013, David Rucki is granted sole custody of all 5 children. At the time of the order he was on probation for a guilty plea involving an OFP violation (Case No. 19AV-CR-11-14682, discharged from probation 10/17/2014. Judge Karen Asphaug conducted pre-trial on that case). 

On February 11, 2014, Judge Knutson filed a complaint against attorney Michelle MacDonald with the Lawyer’s Board. MacDonald said about the complaint, “Judge Knutson’s complaint came after I complained about to him to the Board of Judicial Standards about this: On September 12, 2013, Judge Knutson had me participate as an attorney in a client’s child custody trial in handcuffs, a wheelchair, with no shoes, no glasses, no paper, no pen, no files,missing children – and no client. This was the day after I had filed a federal civil rights action against him, on behalf of that client…MNBar.org Michelle MacDonald Candidate Information A hearing was recently held concerning the complaint against MacDonald, a ruling has not been issued at the time of this blog post.

Judge Knutson now sits as a member on the Board of Judicial Standards. No one in the family court system has been held accountable for the disastrous results of the Grazzini-Rucki case despite numerous complaints being filed.

When abuse allegations, and concerns for the safety of the Rucki children, were raised in this case the Court’s focus was not on the welfare of the children but instead pursued a dangerous agenda. Instead of protecting the children from harm, Judge Knutson and the various professionals involved, inflicted of trauma on children to force reunification with the parent they feared by taking an “assertive stance..to expose them to the object of their fear” and to “desensitize them“. (Dr. Gilbertson Letter).  The Court sought to silence by any means, the parent, Sandra, who sought to protect the children and thereby, stood in the way. The events that led up to the Rucki girls running away is a direct result of the court’s own failings. 

Had Judge Knutson, the professionals, appropriately responded to abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children and worked to protect them, there might have been a different outcome than a family completely destroyed; and children who may never recover from the abuses inflicted on them.


For More Information:

Complaint by K.B. Against Judge Knutson

Chaos, Horror After Courts Step in for Rucki Family by Michael Volpe

Pressured, Threatened S. Rucki Bravely Speaks Out Against “Horrendous” Family Court

Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse


3 thoughts on “2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

  1. Judge Knutson did not preside over a court of justice but one of INJUSTICE! Clearly his political cronies will cover for him if a complaint is raised. The FBI should get involved on this one.


  2. THERE IS SOMETHING ROTTEN IN EVERY STATE AND EVERY COURT IN THE USA. These judges need to be held accountable.

    There is no excuse for this and they get away with it. Its time to revolt and take this to the civil justice level and bring them before a tribunal for war crimes and committing DOMESTIC TERRORISM. There is no JUSTICE in the USA yet the whole world thinks we do. There is no safe way to change this other than through violence and public justice


  3. Millions of mothers are losing custody due to family court bias granting abusive fathers custody while allowing the enormous funding from the VAWA. Unjust Laws domestic violence laws that are quick to prosecute with no due process is hurting millions of mothers now labeled love are or abusers, and children by the giving abusive fathers custody in order to “even the numbers” to appease Fathers Rights organizations and allow for funding by keeping the numbers of abusers the same, this equalizing the numbers of abusers for fathers and mothers. WE ALL KNOW THAT FAR MORE NEN ARE ABUSERS TO WONEN THAN WOMEN ARE TO MEN! Innocent mothers are being labeled abusive in order to keep funding from VA WA which is meant to help victims but is now used to victimize the victim even more! Abusers are winning! Help! Here is my story:

    My name is Marlena Frayji. I am a mother of three, who lost custody to their father November 12th, 2012. My downfall began when my ex filed a restraining order ex parte, just three weeks after being tricked into leaving, and locked out of my home of 24 years. At the hearing, Tony, my ex, was represented, while I was not. With no witnesses, no proof, and no police reports to back up his outright lies, that I was a threat to him and the children, the judge granted his request.

    A violation of that order took place after being tricked into going to the home to get my belongings. This is backed up by numerous emails from him demanding I get my things, and texts of plans made by both of us. there was also leading up to this many texts and emails of correspondence, which arguments occurred. The VAWA GIVES NO DESCRETION TO POLICE OFFICERS. They are to arrest violators instantly regardless of facts at the scene.

    At that time, I was arrested for a violation of the restraining order. I was jailed for 7 days, and did not have the money for bail of 750.00, as I was locked out of all bank accounts, and did not then, nor did I ever have access to a credit card. At my arraignment, the D.A. presented an offer that included a ten year R.O. barring me from Tony and my children. I was not made aware that the R.O. would include my children. There was no outline, or description detailing the terms of this portion of the offer. As far as I knew, it was restraining me from my children’s father. Not my children. THE VAWA GIVES THE SO CALLED “victim” POWER OVER THE PROSECUTION OF THE ALLEGED ABUSER.

    Being isolated in an abusive, controlling 24 year marriage, and involved in a fundamental Christian religion that was strictly adhered to by Tony and thus our family, I had the mind set of a 16 year old. Believing that no one would take children away from a good mother and that I could trust the judicial system to protect me from more abuse. This along with fear of more jail time, I accepted the plea.THE VAWA WAS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT ME. IT PROSECUTED ME AND LEFT ME IMPOVERISHED AND DEVASTATED

    For 4 and a half years, I regularly filed motions for unsupervised time with my children, to no avail. Realizing that as long as the 10 year order was in place, and that it was not going to be lifted with out a very expensive criminal attorney, I have since surrendered to being a mother that lost custody.THE VAWA WILL NOT ALLOW PARENTING TO AN ALLEGED ABUSER, AND ALLOWS FOR WELL BELOW GUIDLINE TO THE ALLEGED ABUSER IN SPOUSAL SUPPORT AND PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS. I GOT ZERO ASSETS. 30% OF GUIDLINE FOR SPOUSAL SUPPORT.

    There is no text, no message, no witness, no testimony, no police report, and no proof of any stalking, harassing, abuse, or neglect to Tony or my children. There has been no evidentiary hearing or trial to determine if I am in fact a violent abuser, yet a 10 year C.P.O. labels me as one to everyone. From employers to Judges, I am a violent abuser that is not fit to be employed or raise children.THE VAWA DIES NOT VALUE DUE PROCESS. DESTROYS LIVES JUST BECAUSE OF A CLAIM OF ABUSE!
    Because of the order, what ever the “Victim” wishes, he gets. He wants me prosecuted for a stupid, and as the Judge puts it “diminimus” claim of a violation, them I am prosecuted. If he wants an addendum added to the CPO, because he “feels” threatened, then he gets it. I have been essentially banned from my entire life of very hard wok, and a very good reputation, of 24 years. every person besides my own family, has been somehow added to the order, most with out their knowledge. He was even able to get the Elders of our church, that he no longer communicates with, or attends the church of, added to the order so that I no longer receive any spiritual support from them.THE VAWA ALLOWS MY ABUSER TO ABUSE ME THROUGH THE SYSTEM YEARS AFTER FINALLY GETTING OUT OF AN ABUSIVE ENVIRONMENT. Isolating me, controlling my life and leaving me in constant fear 5 years later.

    Since then, I have grown into a mature woman who has merged into some sort of life as childless with no trace of my 24 year past. I am allowed no contact what so ever with them until the year 2022. Believing that the CPO was no longer in affect for my now adult daughter, I texted her when she was 18. Of course, it was prosecuted, even though it was agreed that I made a mistake and would not contact her anymore. I had never contacted my children previously. At a hearing to set a trial date, I was arraigned for posting one of my daughters songs from sound cloud, from a different profile than hers. I was in jail 12 days, and unless I plead, I would stay until trial which would be about four months. I lost two clients from my job as personal assistant and my car was repossessed, as they could not reach me. The cost of all of the repercussions of disappearing for 12 days cost me over 4000.00 not including lost wages. This is 41/2 years after separation.

    For 26 years I was essentially held captive by isolation and financial control. I am still isolated from numerous people, including my dear children. I am still affected financially, through child support and the cost of supervised visits. I received zero assets at trial, and I am well below guideline for spousal support. This is due to the 10 year CPO.

    I know that my civil right to Due Process was violated. I know that a restraining order was misused and continues to be misused, and have proof, which justifies the filing of a Torte. The problem is, that since I have been left financially devastated, I have no funds for legel help.

    I believe that the merging of the VAWA reform of 1994, and the funding it provides, along with the attention of The Fathers Rights Movements, is the reason for the sudden rise mothers losing custody today. Most every parent that loses custody long enough for the pendulum to swing so far, for so long, lost due to claims of violence, weather true or not. In order for funding from the VAWA to continue, the numbers of abusers and victims had to stay the same, while less fathers losing custody was necessary to calm the protest the Fathers Rights Movements, who asked for Family Law Reform, not for mothers to suffer the injustice. This meant that just as many had to lose custody due to violence, meaning more mothers became abusers by mere accusation, just as fathers had for years. Most fathers gave up when the culture of family law was automatic custody to mothers if she claimed abuse, even if she lied, as the legal costs to fight, and the barrier of the then family law norm, was just too enormous. On the other hand, mothers who lose custody, do not have history in family law as the great majority ruled unfit, thus, noncustodial parent. The numbers have grown enough now to make some noise and are getting attention from many including Feminists Organizations, which interestingly enough, backed the 1994 reform of the VAWA, partly out of the realization that more fathers would be getting custody, and victims would need more protection. This, along with the fact that no one can argue, a mother and child bond is unbreakable, has lead to family law cases that simply will not go away. Mom’s don’t walk away and move on. Judges have no idea what to do, so that is when gag orders and vexatious Litigant orders come into play. I myself have been ruled a Vexatious Litigant for Ex Parte’s. I know what would come next as long as I am not represented.


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