“Our child support system was not intended to allow wealthy parents to go after poor parents or to allow the County to facilitate such a action. Also the System requires no showing that the children are not being supported with a home, the basic necessities of life, education, health care… what our System does basically is deprive children of the love and companionship of parents which is vital support for children…” Attorney Michelle MacDonald, Oral Arguements: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Child Court Case before the Court of Appeals
(5/24/2017, Minnesota) Oral Arguements in the Child Support Appeal of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki reveal the cruelty and vindictiveness of ex-husband, David Rucki (via attorney Lisa Elliott) and Dakota County (via James Donehower), who demand nearly $1,000 a month in payment from Sandra, who is lives in unimaginable poverty and does not even have the resources needed to secure her own survival.
According to Minnesota law Statute 518A.42 (2016) Subd1a.,”It is a rebuttable presumption that a child support order should not exceed the obligor’s ability to pay….”
And Subd2.,”If the court finds the obligor receives no income and completely lacks the ability to earn income, the minimum basic support amount under this subdivision does not apply.” In cases where a parent lacks ability to pay child support is put on “reserve” and no amount is due until there is a change of circumstance. Minn. Stat. 518A.42 ABILITY TO PAY; SELF-SUPPORT ADJUSTMENT
Though Sandra is currently homeless and destitute, and currently unemployed, which is well documented, she has been court ordered by Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor to pay $975 per month in child support to ex-husband, David Rucki. The amount of child support ordered is based on an imputed amount, meaning Dakota County has made up a figure they feel Sandra should pay.
The facts of the case clearly show that Sandra is struggling to survive and cannot afford to pay child support, while Rucki enjoys a luxury lifestyle and is more than able to pay for the care of the children without child support or any government aid.
Magistrate Pastoor has taken great efforts to be placed onto the Grazzini-Rucki child support case. By “coincidence” Magistrate Pastoor shares a previous professional relationship with Judge David Knutson, who previously presided over the Grazzini-Rucki child support and divorce.
Sandra became homeless after Dakota County Judge Knutson issued an order on September 7, 2012 that forced her to vacate her home of 15 years. She was denied any due process when forced to leave all of her possessions, and forcibly separated from her five children as well. Judge Knutson told Sandra that she would be arrested and jailed if she refused to follow his orders. Judge Knutson then issued a succession of court orders that seized Sandra’s income, assets, savings and even retirement fund and handed them over to Rucki – which she has never been able to recover.
Sandra has also had to witness continued physical and mental abuse inflicted on her children by David Rucki. The children were further traumatized by a family court system that has enabled the abuse to continue and punished Sandra for trying to keep them safe. In April 2013, two of Sandra’s daughters were forced to go on the run to protect their own lives. Sandra has since been charged, and convicted, with 6 felony counts of parental deprivation for her role in assisting her daughters. The circumstances surrounding Sandra’s trial and conviction involved a multitude of illegal and unethical actions from Dakota County, and Judge Karen Asphaug. Critics have called the proceedings a “rigged trial”. It is unlikely that Sandra will be allowed to return to work as a flight attendant with 6 felony convictions on her record. She has not been working for almost two years and is considered unemployable. A spotless, 30+ year career as a flight attendant is now in ruins and with it, Sandra has been grounded with no relief in sight.
For a few months in 2016, after being released from jail and anticipating a lengthy probation, the State of Minnesota offered Sandra food support and a small amount of general assistance. Assistance was then abruptly terminated, leaving Sandra without the ability to obtain food or the ability secure the basics: soap, toothbrush, shampoo now are all “luxuries” beyond reach.
Sandra also lacks medical and dental care. She continues to suffer from the effects of a broken nose and fractured skull that happened in an incident while she was held as a prisoner at the Ramsey County Workhouse in November 2015. Sandra cannot remember what happened to her because the severity of the injury resulted in her becoming unconscious. Sandra woke up lying on the floor in a pool of blood, moaning for help. The incident has never been investigated, nor explained by the jail or by Ramsey County, it has become another of the many abuses inflicted on her. And still Sandra is breathing, and with every breath, fighting back.
This child support case is also ridiculous considering David Rucki, ex-husband, claims poverty even though he is a multi-millionaire who owns 3 houses (one home Rucki claims is a rental property so it generates income), owns several vehicles, retains all of the marital property, is the beneficiary of the Rucki family trust and was enriched after a court awarded all of his ex-wife’s financial assets to him, which he has never paid taxes on. Court records also indicate that Rucki is paying attorney’s fees in an estimated amount of $800 per hour…how can he afford this lifestyle if he is truly impoverished?
Rucki has more than enough money and resources to care for the children on his own and does not need child support or welfare. And yet that is not enough for Rucki.. as long as Sandra is alive he will continue to retaliate against her… though he can not beat Sandra with his fists, he uses the legal system to wield a blow.
(Video published 5/28/2017 by Tim Kinley, host and producer of “Speechless Minnesota”)
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