Epic Free Speech Case in MN: Commentary on Dede Evavold Case

Tim Kinley, host of TV show “Speechless Minnesota”, comments on the HRO filed against Dede Evavold  by David Rucki and resulting court order  to take down over 100 posts on her blog -a violation of freedom of the press and freedom of speech by Dakota County.

She’s (Dede) part of the press, she has a blog that writes about court issues and a whole lot of other issues but she also writes about her case and it’s her way of getting information out as to what took place in that courtroom and what the judge did and what was going on and educating people about the true nature of courts. Well, the judges don’t like that so they were in full compliance with a harassment restraining order put on her..

 

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For Not Removing Blog Posts: Dede Evavold Held Without Bond

CC0 Creative Commons – Pixabay.com

Battle Over Free Speech Sends Blogger to Jail.. Dede Evavold dragged from her home in handcuffs, arrested and held without bail after a judge signs as a warrant for her arrest – her crime: posts about the Grazzini-Rucki case published on the “Red Herring Alert” blog were deemed to be “harassment”.

Evavold was previously ordered to remove the posts in question, which she did, and then was arrested after compliance with the court order.

It should be noted that the Grazzini-Rucki case has been publicly reported on for over 5 years, and gained national attention after being featured on ABC 20/20. The posts in question on “Red Herring Alert” included news about the case, and documents related to court involvement, allegations of abuse, and included statements/stories from people involved in the case. How this publicly available information constitutes “harassment” has not been explained.

The implications of Evavold’s case are far reaching… Dakota County is setting precedence to criminalize freedom of speech; meaning the court has established grounds to jail anyone for blogging, reposting articles or web links, and social media posts.

“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

~ Frederick Douglass

Dede Evavold is in jail, held without bond: her crime, not removing blogs fast enough for a court.

This blatant violation of Evavold’s first amendment rights appears to be just fine with all involved: the sheriff, the judge and the media which have been covering the Rucki story.

The whole bizarre scenario started with David Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliott, filed an emergency motion on February 12, 2018.

“Ordering Respondent to immediately remove the entire post titled ‘Beaten Before Born: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Assaulted While Pregnant – Rucki Wanted to Kill Baby Because ‘Wasn’t Perfect.’, dated December 18, 2017, from the Red Herring Alert Blog and /or any subsequent revisions to the post along with any reposts and/or posts to Facebook and Twitter, which is a direct violation of Minnesota Statue § 609.748, Sub.1a;” The motion stated.
Remarkably, the original blog in question was re-printed from another blog; the story originated on Justice for Grazzini-Rucki children, where it remains today.

The motion was still quickly granted and Evavold was ordered to remove the blog post immediately.

The motion was granted even though Rucki has had glowing coverage from local media and national media like 20/20 and it’s not clear how a blog would “harass” him as he alleged.

An email to his attorney, Lisa Elliott, was left unreturned.

That order turned into an order to remove nearly ten blog posts and then dozens. When Evavold did not comply with the most recent order to remove dozens of blog posts, a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The arrest warrant was initiated by Elliott who filed an affidavit in early March 2018: “Respondent has failed to comply with this Court’s March 1, 2018 Order. THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: That the Dakota County Sheriff’s Department shall issue an arrest warrant immediately for the detention of the Respondent, Deirdre Elise Evavold, as outlined in its March 1, 2018 Order.”

Her request was quickly granted by a retired judge from Ramsey County, Kathleen Gearin, and an arrest warrant was issued on March 14, 2018; but Evavold, while free, said she was out of the state on a preplanned trip at the time the warrant was issued.

According to her neighbor, Evavold was picked up by a Stearns County Sheriff- Evavold lives in Stearns County- on Sunday March 18, 2018.

The Stearns County Sheriff, Don Gudmundson, said any potential violations of the 1st amendment must be taken up with the judge: “Mrs. Evavold can take those issues up with the Judge.  My lawful duty is in Court File 19AV-CV-17-1950 and Write of Attachment 19AV-CV-17-1950-1 which states ‘Hold Without Bond.’”

According to Minnesota statute, her violation- contempt of court- is punishable by a maximum of $250 fine and six months in jail, but as Sheriff Gudmundson stated, she is still being held without bond per the order of the judge.

Judge Gearin is retired and could not be reached; staff at Ramsey County Court and Dakota County Court- from where the warrant was issued- did not respond to messages to explain what appears to be a blatant violation of Evavold’s 1st amendment rights.

Staff at Dakota County did say that retired judges are brought in when there is a shortage of judges, and this would be the reason Judge Gearin presided over parts of this case.

Evavold’s neighbor, Angela Young, said that Evavold was arrested even though she handed the sheriffs her own affidavit of compliance with the order.

A subsequent email to the public affairs department at the Minnesota Courts was also left unreturned.

Remarkably, Michael Brodkorb, who runs Missing in Minnesota, accompanied the sheriffs as they arrested Evavold.

Sheriff Gudmundson did not respond as to how Brodkorb would know to be there for the arrest; Brodkorb has blocked my email and did not respond.

When the Rucki girls were found in November 2015, Brodkorb also accompanied police on that trip, even though the police were supposed to be executing a sealed warrant.

Evavold was convicted along with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki of helping hide Grazzini-Rucki’s daughters when they ran away from home in April 2015, after a court forced them to live with their father, despite insisting to the court that he abused them and their siblings.

Battle Over Blogger’s Freedom of Speech Continues: Emergency Hearing Feb 27th on Evavold HRO

Dakota County Western Service Center Where Emergency Hearing Will Be Held (Source: Red Herring Alert)

A HRO was filed against Dede Evavold alleging that posts on the blog “Red Herring Alert” discussing the Grazzini-Rucki case constitute harassment. The case has been ongoing for nearly a year.

There has been no direct evidence to support that Evavold has authored the posts that are the subject of the HRO.

Evidence Evavold obtained in discovery confirm this:

7/19/2017, Gilbertsen, John P: “I was able to locate a speicif article reference by the victim (David Rucki) and it did contain information and commentary on the victim(s), much what was negative and sensationalistic in nature. However, I was unable to determine who in fact runs the blog, as the postings are under Aliases which do not clearly identify the person posting…

And,“When I reported back to Supervisor Griffin I indicated I did not feel there was information that we could glean that make it clear Ms. Evavold is the writer or runs the blog..” Dakota County ADMITS Charging Evavold with Probation Violation Despite No Proof of Wrongdoing

Background info on the HRO filed against Dede Evavold: First Amendment Court Case #19AV-CR-17-16709

An Update from Dede Evavold on what she calls the “fraudulent HRO” filed against her: MA’AM, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!

Excerpt from Michael Brodwhore’s Missing in Minnesota:

Lisa Elliott, who serves as the attorney for the Rucki family, filed an emergency motion with the court yesterday which included over 200 pages of exhibits documenting Evavold’s repeated violations of an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted by a court in Dakota County in July 2017.

Late yesterday afternoon, the court granted Elliott’s request for an emergency hearing and scheduled the hearing for February 27, at Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

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David Rucki is going to have to get legislation to become a protected class that qualifies for special protection by a law. You know, all people are equal, but some are more equal than others.

All he has to do to gain an advantage over someone and throw them under the legal bus is make claims of “Ruckiism”. Oh, I guess he already has that advantage!

Next hearing scheduled for February 27th.
HRO Filing: WHY is Adult Daughter Listed Jointly On Petition?

There are two adults included  in the petition for a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against Dede Evavold – petitioner (and father) David Rucki, and an adult daughter. Two adults can only be listed jointly on a HRO under special legal circumstances – marriage or legal guardianship.

The adult daughter has not filed her own petition against Evavold, and has not signed the HRO filed by her father. The adult daughter has never appeared in court, or offered any sworn testimony regarding harassment.

Consider this: Minnesota Judicial Branch: Help Topics Domestic Abuse & Harassment says that,An adult can ask the court (petition) for an order on behalf of another adult if there is a court order granting legal guardianship. A Power of Attorney does not give someone the ability to file for a Harassment Restraining Order for another adult…

Is the adult daughter under the legal guardianship of her father?? Currently that question remains unanswered. -If the adult daughter is NOT under legal guardianship, Evavold may have a claim to dismiss the HRO filed against her if she can prove it was improperly filed. Stay tuned as proceedings continue in this case full of twists and turns!

 

 

 

 

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.