Dede Evavold on HRO: When We Lose Free Speech

An update from Dede Evavold on the recent HRO issued against her, and the suppression of free speech (re-posted from Red Herring Alert):

When We Lose Free Speech-We Lose Everything

“Most of you are aware of the fact that I was maliciously prosecuted and falsely convicted in the State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Evavold Case No.19HA-CR-15-4227

On July 31st, 2017, I was also served with a false harassment restraining order (HRO) signed by the very judge that presided over my criminal trial. Affidavit for HRO. 

Anyhow, the restraining order was issued ex parte and the petitioner indicated that he is not requesting a hearing at this time. In order for me to access the courts for a hearing to have this harassing harassment order dismissed, I have to pay a $300 filing fee. I have already been charged thousands of dollars in court fees from the courtroom, to jail, to probation. This is the continued legal harassment that I am under because I refuse to accept the continued injustices being thrown at me…

Source: Red Herring Alert

Red Herring Alert: Bloggers Have Same 1st Amendment Protections as Journalists

Thoughts from Red Herring Alert blog on the harassment order issued against Dede Evavold …

Bloggers Have Same First Amendment Protections as Traditional Journalists – HRO vs Evavold Should Be Dismissed

The Crystal Cox lawsuit is a landmark court case that defines, and upholds, the 1st Amendment protections of bloggers.. and is relevant when considering the recent HRO issued against Dede Evavold.

This ruling should be a clear reminder to misguided attorneys, corporations, developers or those with affluence to cease bullying or intimidating those who report the issues of the day.” ~ Choon James

Blogging is an exercise of protected speech and does NOT constitute ‘harassment’!

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Beware! Blog Post May Be A Threat: Michael Volpe On HRO Filed Against Dede Evavold

Beware, the next blog post may be a threat to someone’s safety by Michael Volpe

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.

Evavold did not respond to the letter at the time and continued blogging.

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.

Rucki has a long history of violence including: includes: a bar fighta road rage incidentincidents of stalkingmultiple violations of restraining orders, and choking his wife with an organ leg.

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.

 

Judge Asphaug: Blogging More of a Safety Threat Than Frightening Neighbors, Intimidating Police

In yet another bizarre development of the Grazzini-Rucki case, David Rucki claims that blogging is a threat to his safety, and that of his minor children and filed for a restraining order against Dede Evavold, co-defendant in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. It should be noted that Rucki’s petition for a harassment order (HRO) did not actually name or specify what blog had allegedly harassed or threatened him. The HRO did not provide any evidence that Evavold was responsible for owning any blog or that she had posted anything about Rucki on social media that constitutes the legal definition of harassment (per 609.748 Harassment Restraining Order).

Without proving actual harassment occurred, and in violation of Evavold’s freedom of speech, Judge Karen Asphaug granted a HRO against her that is effective for 2 years. Ex Parte HRO

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

There are numerous problems with the HRO granted … including Judge Asphaug’s prior role on a criminal case involving David Rucki, where she was instrumental in dismissing charges that involved physical threats and harassment that he committed against the neighbors. 

Another connection is that Judge Asphaug’s husband, David Warg, shares a close professional and social relationship with Judge Tim Wermager, the first judge to preside over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce. A local newspaper article covering the swearing in of Judge Wermager alludes to political alliance, and deals made on the golf course that influence the court system, and judiciary, in Dakota County. Are these forces also at play in the Grazzini-Rucki case?

Judge Asphaug Dismissed Prior Criminal Charge Against David Rucki Despite Overwhelming Evidence of Threats, Harassment

That Judge Karen Asphaug quickly issued a HRO against Dede Evavold with absolutely no evidence to support any of the claims made is a sharp contrast to the role she played in dismissing a serious charge of disorderly conduct against Rucki, that involved harassment and threats. Many of Rucki’s acts were targeted against children. The police report filed from this incident includes remarks from Rucki that suggest he knew that if criminal charges were filed, the court would rule in his favor.

On September 8, 2009, Rucki was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after threatening and harassing his neighbor and swearing at and threatening their children. Police responding to the complaint noted in their report that Rucki tried to intimidate them and referred to the neighbor as a “bitch”. Explosive Expose by Michael Volpe: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?

Officer Michelle Roberts writes in her report,”Suspect (Rucki) told me that he didn’t have to listen to me. I advised him that if he would not allow me to question him regarding the specifics, I would have no choice but to charge him with disorderly conduct based on their allegations.

He stated,’Go ahead, it’s their word against mine and you can’t prove anything.’

I told him I would mail him a citation for disorderly conduct and he would have the opportunity to give his side in court. He responded,’I’m not going to show up for court, this is bullshit.’  He then said,’You guys can get the fuck off my property.’ Suspect approached us two additional times, each time arguing that we couldn’t take their word over his.

In a supplemental report written by Officer Barb Maxwell, she took a complaint from the neighbor regarding Rucki’s frightening behavior towards his family. Officer Maxwell notes that when she attempted to speak to Rucki, he “..tried to intimidate me. I introduced myself and stated,’I am here because of a complaint on your dogs.’ Rucki got very close to me and said,’There is NO complaint on my dogs‘, and from that point on I was unable to say another word.”  Rucki Incident Report 9/8/2009

Public Domain Image

Judge Karen Asphaug presided over the criminal trial against Rucki and dismissed all charges under unusual circumstances. Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively investigated the Grazzini-Rucki case and writes about these charges against Rucki, and the resulting hearing: “The case came in front of Judge Karen Asphaug and on December 31, 2009 a preliminary hearing was held.

As a result of the hearing, a trial was scheduled for February 8, 2010. But, on the eve of the trial, the defense filed a motion to dismiss for “lack of probable cause.” That motion was granted without a hearing by Judge Asphaug and the case was thrown out.

This is unusual and inexplicable. A motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause is supposed to be heard during the pre-trial hearing. If a trial date is set, that normally means the probable cause standard has been met. Furthermore, given the number of witnesses to the altercation, dismissing for lack of probable cause is even less appropriate.”  Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?

That Judge Asphaug presided over this prior disorderly conduct case  against Rucki should have disqualified her from later presiding over the criminal case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold and the other 2 co-defendants. That Judge Asphaug had knowledge of an incident involving a criminal charge against Rucki, where he was accused of violent behavior, creates a conflict of interest.

Further, this incident with the neighbor should have been allowed as evidence at Sandra’s criminal trial but Judge Asphaug would not allow it in. The neighbor had also written letter to describe his experiences with Rucki,”In our near decade of living next to him I have found him to be a very angry individual rages at anyone who has contention or confronts him. It got so severe against our family that the court awarded us a restraining order in September 2009….

As police reports can verify, he has boldly cursed profanely at, and tried to intimidate Lakeville’s female animal control officer. It is logical to conclude he is capable  of more towards those more vulnerable, such as his wife and children.

Dakota County Judicial Center

Judge Asphaug’s Husband Connected to First Judge Who Presided Over Grazzini-Rucki Divorce

Judge Karen Asphaug is also married to attorney David Warg, who was once a partner in a law firm with Judge Tim Wermager. Judge Wermager was the first judge to preside over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce.

A news article on the swearing in of Tim Wermager suggests that a good ‘ole boys club exists in Dakota County. The article hints that Wermager became a judge because of his political connections. (2008) Wermager sworn in as judge

Notable excerpts from the article include:

(Judge William) Thuet, also a Hastings resident, is a former attorney from the same law firm that Wermager practiced with for many years. In his remarks, he mentioned the connection.

“What do Rex Stacy, Tom Bibus, me, and now Tim Wermager, have in common?” he asked. “We all were in law practice with Jim O’Connell. He’s the judge maker.”

…Thuet was sworn in as judge in 1983 and remembers being told to “do what is right.” He urged Wermager to do the same.

In his remarks, Wermager thanked everyone, including his law partners O’Connell and David Warg, his family, and friends.

“One of the reasons I wanted to have this ceremony here is because of the history here,” Wermager said. “This is where we all started. (Community Room, Hastings City Hall

Wermager said Dakota County is held in high regard for its judicial practices.

“Attorneys like to practice here,” he said. “They are treated fairly and with respect.”

That pattern was begun by Judges Breunig (Robert), Mansur (Martin), and Hoey (George), Wermager noted. It continues today.

In this environment of cronyism and backroom deals how could Sandra Grazzini-Rucki or an of the co-defendants in the criminal trial, including Dede Evavold, ever receive a fair trial? When justice is offered for sale, it ceases to exist as justice and instead sows the seeds of corruption, greed and abuse of power at every level of the system.

HRO: Who is Harassing Who?

Rucki’s filing of a HRO against Dede Evavold seems well timed to silence Evavold from speaking out about her case, and to make an example of her to intimidate anyone else who is posting on social media, or other news outlets, about the Grazzini-Rucki case. There is only one narrative on this case that Rucki endorses – his own.

Second, Evavold has recently filed an appeal on her conviction of felony parental deprivation charges. Evavold Response Brief: Deceptive Dakota County If Evavold’s case is overturned on appeal, she could still be subject to this HRO, which would become another way for Judge Asphaug to throw her in jail for any social media posting… As this HRO has established there doesn’t need to be evidence that Evavold did anything wrong to punish her. The basis of the HRO is quote “blog” posting with no blog named, no threatening statements listed, no acts of harassment cited,no proof Evavold posted anything that constitutes harassment or threats as defined by law. Judge Asphaug has created a situation where she can blame Evavold for any “blog” and charge her with an HRO violation; this is a clear abuse of judicial discretion.

Stay tuned as the Justice Blog continues to expose this harassment order, and other developments in the #grazzinirucki case!

Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

** BREAKING NEWS ** From Michael Volpe and PPJ Gazette reporting on the appellate cases of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold

Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case.

“In separate response briefs to pro se attorneys, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office has acknowledged jury tampering, misdirected an allegation of witness tampering, and refused to respond to address all allegations of judicial misconduct in the Rucki case.

The briefs from Dakota County Prosecutor James Backstrom were in response to briefs filed by Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, both representing themselves.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

 

Evavold has been representing herself after the state ruled her too well off to receive an attorney while Grazzini-Rucki was represented but was so disgusted by her attorney’s brief that she filed one on her own.

Her attorney, Steven Russett, who was provided by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office, did not respond to an email and voicemail for comment.

In the most startling admission, the prosecutors acknowledge- responding to Grazzini-Rucki- that a reporter approached the jury while they were in a common area during a lunch break and asked if any wanted to be interviewed when the trial ended.

The reporter’s name is Laura Adelmann, who works for the Sun Current, the hometown newspaper of Lakeville, Minnesota, where the Rucki’s live. “There was one occasion during trial in which it was it was reported to Judge Asphaug that a reporter (I.E. Laura Adelmann) had approached the jurors while they were eating in the common area of the courthouse and asked if she could interview them after the trial was over.” Backstrom’s brief stated.

 This incident occurred on Friday July 18, 2016, while the trial was ongoing, and on Monday July 21, 2016, Judge Asphaug issued this statement to the court gallery.

I also received information that a member of the press approached our jurors last week and asked if jurors would be willing to speak after the trial. It is- I am ordering that you may not approach the jurors in the common area of the courthouse. It is- it has a chilling effect. It concerns jurors don’t do it.” An email to Adelmann was left unreturned. A voicemail to her editor, Tad Johnson, was also left unreturned.

Judge Karen Asphaug

Though the trial was covered internationally there was not one story which referred to Asphaug’s statement while the trial was ongoing.

Emails to Karen Zamora and Brandon Stahl, who each covered parts of the trial for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, were left unreturned.

An email to Michael Brodkorb, who has boasted that he covered each day of the trial, was also left unreturned.

Emails to 20/20 host, Elizabeth Vargas, and her two producers, Beth Mullin and Sean Dooley, were also left unreturned; 20/20 covered parts of the trial though it’s not clear if they were there that day.

Beau Berentson said “Our office does not conduct legal research,” in an email.

But when asked if an investigation had been started or if anyone had been disciplined for allowing press to get so close to the jury- a major break in protocol according to everyone this reporter spoke with- Berentson did not respond.

While lawyers who spoke with this reporter said it was unprecedented that press would ever get so close to a jury during trial, they were split on its significance.

Michael McCray, a United States Department of Agriculture whistleblower and lawyer, said he believed that such an interaction would cause all sorts of thoughts to enter a jury’s head “not one will be about the merits of the case.”

Lee Dryer is a Nashville attorney and part-time judge.

No trial is perfect,” Dryer said, but was less concerned since nothing about the case was discussed.

Dryer said he was more concerned with an allegation of witness tampering; Samantha Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter who ran away, responded to Kelli Coughlin a Lakeville Police Department Detective, who asked her if she was at a police interview conducted approximately a month before her mother’s trial.

This police interview occurred approximately a month prior to her mother’s trial on June 30, 2016.

They (her father and his sister) basically said I have to (go to the interview) and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and it’s going and that’s the way it’s gonna be- and they made me feel guilty about it and I started to cry.” Samantha responded when asked if she was at the interview of her own free will.

Judge Asphaug refused to allow the interview into Grazzini-Rucki’s trial, Samantha Rucki testified by Skype, with her aunt, grandmother, and attorney in the same room but not in camera, her father was listening in from outside the door.

David Rucki Facebook April 2016, Public Statement About Missing Daughters

Furthermore, Judge Asphaug would only allow a limited number of questions. Samantha then downplayed the abuse and claimed she ran away to get away from a bad divorce.

Dryer said that having Samantha testify by Skype raises sixth amendment issues, of a defendant confronting their accuser.

Judge Asphaug argued that Samantha was too fragile to see her mother, but child rape victims are forced to confront their alleged rapist if that rapist is to be convicted.

In their response brief, prosecutors argued that since they weren’t directly involved in the witness tampering, they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Appellant (Evavold) fails to detail what misconduct Respondent (Dakota County Prosecutor) engaged in. In support of her argument, Appellant points to an interview that was conducted by law enforcement of SVR (Samantha). Appellant is under the misbelief that Respondent somehow coerced SVR into providing the statement and that SVR lied in the statement.

The prosecutor’s brief only alludes to a police interview but does not detail what Samantha said in the interview.

Dede Evavold also argued that there was judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, charges not answered by Backstrom.

Judge Asphaug placed herself on Evavold’s, Grazzini-Rucki’s, and the Dahlen’s cases, and refused to recuse herself when each of the four defendants asked.

Furthermore, in 2010, she appears to have fixed a case for David Rucki.

On September 8, 2009, David Rucki went into a fit of rage against his neighbors while they were escorting approximately a dozen two and three-year-old children to the daycare facility they ran.

Complainant stated his wife, two children, and six daycare kids ages three and under were in the driveway when suspect (David Rucki) approached. He stated the suspect threatened his wife, his son, and called them all assholes while standing in the cul-de-sac in front of their home. While I was speaking with the complainant, he informed me that the suspect drove by as we were speaking and put up his middle finger on his left hand at him. Complainant said that they have had on-going harassment type issues with the suspect and his dogs as a result of operating a home daycare facility. He said suspect’s dogs repeatedly come into his yard when daycare parents and kids arrive, barking and growling and the guests as the children are dropped off. He said they have tried to talk to the suspect in the past to mediate the situation, but that he no longer feels comfortable due to elevated language and behavior.

Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct and the case came in front of Judge Asphaug. On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, an inexplicable decision which has never been explained.

Lack of probable cause applies to cases with little or no evidence not an incident witnessed by several adults and approximately twelve children. Furthermore, if a case is dismissed due to a lack of probable cause it would be during normal pre-trial hearings, not on the eve of trial, and there’s no evidence that any sort of motion was even filed to trigger this.

Asphaug proceeded to exclude approximately 90% of the evidence of abuse: including David Rucki’s police report, all Child Protective Services reports, all orders for protection against David Rucki, and letters, from Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s, Dede Evavold’s, and the Dahlen’s trials.

Backstrom’s office provided answers to most of the charges of judicial misconduct but not all.

For instance, in their reply brief, the prosecution claims that Grazzini-Rucki only referred to three items as being excluded: The Fox 9 Newscast from June 2013, the GPS tracker from when David Rucki placed a tracker under Grazzini-Rucki’s friend and advocate’s car, Michael Rhedin, and Social Services records.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

But while Grazzini-Rucki did complain about these, and their exclusion is significant, police reports, letters, and other recordings were also excluded; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki complained of clear judicial bias.

The prosecution downplayed in its brief the breadth of the evidence excluded during trial.

Backstrom’s office did not respond to emails for comment.”

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case Reaches Appellate Court

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.

Rucki’s Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

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?

David Rucki’s property in Farmington, MN

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”)

 

For More Information:

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki ordered to pay $1K monthly child support 

Radio: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the Child Support Hustle with Guests Michael Volpe and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (Marcus Echols). 5/9/2017.

 

Dierdre “Dede” Evavold Appeals Criminal Conviction

From Red Herring Alert blog… Dierdre “Dede” Evavold filed an appeals her criminal conviction State of MN vs. Deirdre Evavold A17-0200

Dede Evavold

Evavold Appeal 2017  is a compelling read that begins with the argument that Dede was wrongfully charged and convicted of parental deprivation and that, quote (p.5), “The affirmative defense did not need to be raised as there was substantial evidence supporting the affirmative defense. The state had all evidence that no crime was committed and that the girls ran away because of abuse...” That statement is validated by police reports that show when paternal aunt Tammy Love reported S.R. and G.R. as missing that she admitted the girls had run away because they were “upset because court ordered her and her sister to live with aunt…” Another police report dated 11/23/2015, the day the girls were found living at the Dahlen ranch again affirms they did run away of their own free will and would run again if forced to live with their abusive father,”Both girls made it very clear to me that if they were forced to go with their dad, they would run again…

The appeal also argues:

*The State purposely ignored allegations and documentation indicating child abuse of S.R. and G.R. occurred.

*The State refused to investigate allegations of witness tampering because it would hurt its case to do so.

*Additional charges were filed against Evavold after S.R. was forced to recant her statements due to pressure and intimidation asserted against her by father, David Rucki, and paternal aunt, Tammy Love. S.R.’s story then changed from her original statements, which is witness tampering. The State should have never been allowed to proceed with prosecution due to witness tampering. (p.8-9)

*The Dakota County Attorney’s Office obstructed the discovery process and failed to provide all evidence available to Evavold. (p.12-21)

*Prosecutor Kathryn Keena attempted to force Evavold to plead guilty without allowing her to see all of the evidence of the case, which has been dubbed a “trial by ambush”. (p. 16-17)

*Judge Karen Asphaug should have recused herself from the case because she was involved with previous criminal proceedings involving David Rucki where she ruled in his favor, and then concealed her role in the cases. (p.21) (Also read this expose written by journalist Michael Volpe on the subject: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases? )

*Judge Asphaug assigned herself to all 4 criminal trials relating to the Grazzini-Rucki parental deprivation case, “this action led to knowledge of disputed facts and affected impartiality“.

(Side Note: Judge Asphaug’s husband David Warg is a former partner in a law firm with Judge Tim D. Wermager. Judge Wermager was the first judge assigned to the Grazzini-Rucki divorce. Wermager sworn in as judge)

*Due process violations prevented Evavold from getting a fair trial.

Additional information about the Grazzini-Rucki case, and the criminal trial of Dede Evavold can be heard at the following link: Dede Evavold: Paying for Being an Activist for Change. Village Connection Radio with Fletcher Long and Carlos Rivera.

 

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena