All rights reserved under the 1st Amendment regarding free speech
Beware, the next blog post may be a threat to someone’s safety.
That’s the allegation made in an ex-parte restraining order filed by David Rucki against Dede Evavold.
“Respondent (Evavold) continues to post information about my family, photos of my family, myself and other members of my family,” Rucki said in his ex-parte harassment restraining order application, “Respondent also continues to make allegations which are false but may incite others against me. My children are frightened for their safety and feel their privacy has been violated.”
The application continued, “This is a proven pattern that has been going on for years.”
Rucki does not specify what Evavold has said which is harassing or threatening; an email to Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliot, was left unreturned.
Evavold has a blog called Red Herring Alert, where she writes about the Rucki case among other blog posts.
This is not the first time David Rucki has used the legal system to try and shut Evavold’s blogging down. In the Summer 2016, his then attorney, Marshall Tannick, sent Evavold a letter threatening a lawsuit if she didn’t remove her blog immediately.
“I am writing to you on behalf of David Rucki,” began a letter from Tanick to Evavold from June 7, 2016, “and his daughters, Samantha and Gianna, with regard to the matter relating to the removal and concealment of the girls and related incidents that have occurred during that episode and thereafter.
“There are various civil claims arising from your involvement in this matter.”
Tannick did not respond to an email for comment and it’s not clear if he is representing him regarding the restraining order.
On April 18, 2013, Rucki’s two oldest daughters- Samantha and Gianna- ran away from home and stayed for approximately two and half years with strangers- Doug and Gina Dahlen- after a judge- David Knutson forced them to live with Rucki’s sister- Tammy Love; even though all five Rucki children complained vociferously at the time that David Rucki and his family were violent.
Rucki has lived in the Minneapolis suburb of Lakeville throughout the process.
Evavold was one of four people convicted in relation to this disappearance after she recommended to the girls’ mother- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki- that she take her two daughters to live with the Dahlen’s; the Dahlen’s pled guilty for their role in hiding the two girls earlier in 2017.
Ironically, David Rucki is no stranger to restraining orders as nine people- his five children, his ex-wife, two neighbors, and an in-law- all successfully took out a restraining order against him after threatening and stalking behavior.
This case has been covered internationally and Rucki has conducted hundreds of interviews, making his pleas for privacy curious.
The trial judge- Karen Asphaug- disallowed any mention of his criminal history; when his ex-wife testified at her trial she wasn’t even allowed to allude to the restraining order she and her children took out against him.
The four defendants argued they hid the girls because they feared for their safety in Rucki’s care; Rucki once chased after his daughter on her birthday, according to a police report and stuck a gun in his son’s head according to a Child Protective Services report.
Not surprisingly, Asphaug also granted him this restraining order ex-parte, which means without the other parties- in this case Evavold- knowledge.
Normally, an ex-parte restraining order is only granted in cases where someone is under immediate threat of physical danger and the granting of a restraining order based on blog posts should raise first amendment issues.
I contacted Brandon Stahl (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Laura Adelmann (Sun-Current), Michael Brodkorb, Elizabeth Vargas, Sean Dooley, and Beth Mullins (the last three the team behind the controversial 20/20 broadcast on this case which ignored Rucki’s documented history of abuse)- but none provided a response.
Adelmann, it was recently revealed, approached the jury during Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s trial and asked if any would like to be interviewed after the trial was over; her behavior is now the subject of a jury tampering allegation.
Asphaug appears to be David Rucki’s personal judge. She presided over each of the four criminal trials in this case- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold, Dough Dahlen, and Gina Dahlen.
Asphaug ruled to disallow nearly all of David Rucki’s criminal history and forced Gina Dahlen to testify in multiple trials even though she was a defendant still awaiting her trial.
The 1st Judicial District, where Asphaug sits, would only say that judges are chosen to a case “by statute” but would not explain how Asphaug wound up repeatedly on Rucki’s cases.
A phone call and email to Lissa Linne, a public affairs officer for Minnesota Courts, was left unreturned.
A call to Asphaug’s law clerk, Jennifer Williams, was also left unreturned.
Asphaug taking over legal proceedings related to Rucki continues a pattern.
Judge David Knutson placed himself on every legal case related to the Rucki’s when he took over their divorce in 2011.
“The above referenced matter has been assigned to the Honorable Judge David Knutson,” a letter written by Knustson’s clerk in August 2011 stated, “all future matters shall be scheduled in front of Judge David Knutson.”
Knustson proceeded to issue approximately 4,000 orders, almost all regulating Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s behavior; he gave 100% of a multi-million estate to David Rucki and forcibly- under the threat of jail- removed Sandra Grazzini-Rucki from her home, and awarded David Rucki sole custody of his children, despite his documented history of violence.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has not seen any of her five children since early 2013.
Evavold has twenty days to challenge the restraining order.
The terms of the restraining order forbid Evavold from speaking about the Rucki family in public or approaching the family; the restraining order appears to be overkill as the terms of Evavold’s probation already forbid all this.
Evavold’s probation is overseen by Judge Asphaug, though she’s yet to violate her probation.
Evavold has four months left to serve on her prison term, but like Grazzini-Rucki, Asphaug has ordered her to serve it over the next six years.