Quote: Judicial Immunity Should Not Be Used to Violate Law, Civil and Constitutional Rights

 

A quote about judicial immunity from attorney Michelle MacDonald: “I expect all judges to take the privilege of judicial immunity for suit seriously, rather than see immunity as permission to violate the law and civil and constitutional rights of our citizens, or their lawyers..

 

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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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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.”

Fighting B.A.C.K. with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki feat. Angela Ehlers: Military Injustice

Wedding Angela Ehlers and Sgt. Edwin Ehlers II

Listen Online: Fighting B.A.C.K. with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki feat. Angela Ehlers: Military Injustice

Original Air Date: Monday March 27th 6-8 pm E.S.T.

Angela Ehlers joins Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on Fighting B.A.C.K. to talk about the wrongful conviction of Sgt Edwin Ehlers II, her husband, by the United States Marine Corps.

In August 2007, decorated Marine Sgt Edwin Ehlers was convicted of sexual assault. This story happened amid scandals that the military is mishandling allegations of sexual abuse, and an alarming number of military members are coming forward to say that they have been falsely accused of crimes. Angela says her husband was not given a fair trial within the military justice system, as required by law, and was the victim of a kangaroo court. Angela has ample evidence to prove that NCIS agents admitted to tampering with “evidence” used at trial, and there was no physical evidence to support any of the allegations raised. The alleged victim has also come forward to say that she has been coached, and then recanted abuse allegations at trial. 

 Join Fighting B.A.C.K. as we uncover shocking details about this case, and receive updates from Angela in her fight for justice.

I have worked tirelessly since August 21, 2007, when I was suddenly thrust into single motherhood with 2 small children and no job, to gain Edwin’s freedom.  I have done the many things in the pursuit to set to rights what has happened by writing to the very people who are able to correct their own mistakes and to that of others.  These people, who have the power and ability to release Edwin, refuse to even acknowledge they have done anything wrong.

These are the same people who run our Government offices and take our tax-payer dollars for funding.  They have sworn an oath to uphold the laws which ensure our freedom, but they have done nothing but show their incompetence and disregard for the “rules” and laws which govern all of us.  Most, if not all, lack the backbone to stand up for what is right by correcting this injustice.

No one can ever give Edwin and our children back what has been taken from them because when he comes home, I can’t make our children go back to being the 19 month and 7 month old babies they were when he was wrongfully convicted.

But I can do everything in my power to give them all one thing, his freedom.” ~ Angela Ehlers, 3/30/2012

Read More About Angela Ehlers, the fight for Justice for Sgt. Edwin Ehlers II and review docs at: Military Injustice Blog

Also Read:

A Travesty Of Justice: Collateral Charges In Military Sexual Assault Cases (Daily Caller)

Falsely Accused Military Service Members Share their Stories on Capitol Hill (Save Our Heroes Project)

False reports outpace sex assaults in the military (Washington Times)

Military’s newly aggressive rape prosecution has pitfalls (McClatchy DC Bureau)

Fighting B.A.C.K. with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki now airs Monday night 6-8 pm EST/ 5-7 pm Central on Future of Our Children Radio (BlogTalk).

Listen Online: Fighting B.A.C.K with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Episode 7

Grazzini-Rucki Case Suggests Witness Tampering, Continued Abuse of Runaway Rucki Girl

gavel

Because the witness told investigators that her father made her change her story and her story did in fact change from previous statements, it is apparent that witness tampering occurred.” – Motion filed by the Dahlens 12/23/2016

(Dakota County, Minn): More evidence supporting that David Rucki has abused his children in the past, and continues to emotionally and psychologically abuse S.R. emerges from the criminal trial of Doug and Gina Dahlen…

Doug and Gina Dahlen, the couple who sheltered S.R. and G.R. on their therapeutic horse ranch for 2 1/2 years, filed a motion to request an evidentiary hearing regarding witness tampering on 12/23/2016 in Dakota County. (The Dahlens have since plead “guilty” for felony charges of parental deprivation under questionable circumstances).

Read the motion in it’s entirety: Dakota County accused of witness tampering in Doug and Gina Dahlen case

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

The motion was filed to request a hearing to determine whether witness tampering has occurred. The alleged witness tampering is based on David Rucki, the Lakeville P.D. and Dakota County’s treatment towards S.R. – one of the teen girls who fled after Judge David L. Knutson placed her in an unsafe environment.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

THE DAHLENS: RUCKI SISTERS DISCLOSE ABUSE

The motion details the heart wrenching day that S.R. and G.R. came to the Dahlen family. In late April of 2013, both girls came to the ranch, and according to the motion,”When the girls arrived, both were very emotional, crying and appeared scared. Both girls appeared extremely fearful to the Dahlens. In fact, the Dahlens had never seen two girls so visibly and physically frightened. In essence, they were scared for their lives.

S.R. and G.R. had good reason to be afraid of David Rucki. When the girls became more comfortable with the Dahlens, they shared their fears, and painful memories. According to the motion, the girls told the Dahlens that Rucki made threats, displayed sexually inappropriate behavior, and police were called a number of times after he violated restraining orders.

frisked

According to the Dahlens, the girls reported that they were scared of Rucki and he “had a habit of peeking in outside windows..” The Dahlens said talking about their home life, and the thought of returning to the care of their father (Rucki) made S.R. and G.R. so upset that they would shake and become physically sick “with fear and panic“.

It should be noted that S.R. exhibited the same emotional and physical symptoms as to what the Dahlens observed when she was questioned by social workers and police after she had been recovered; when making statements regarding her home life prior to the divorce, abuse and the events leading up to when she ran away. The difference is that the Dahlens correctly identified S.R.’s reaction as a traumatic response, but when S.R. was put back under the control of Dakota County the abuse cover up continued and S.R. was labelled “fragile” and in need of de-programming.

The motion states that Dahlens permitted S.R. and G.R. to stay at their Ranch because they reasonably believed that the girls were at risk for physical, sexual or emotional harm if they returned.

S.R. and her sister G.R. went into hiding, living with the Dahlens for 2 1/2 years. In an interview with ABC 20/20, Gina Dahlen says the teen girls “made a new life” for themselves on the Ranch, and they were free to leave anytime they wanted but chose to stay. While staying on the Ranch, S.R. and G.R. were home schooled. The girls did chores on the Ranch, and helped with the website – but never used the internet to contact their father or make an effort to return to Lakeville, where they lived. Dahlen says there was no effort to conceal the girls, they used their real names and went into town, socializing with others.

This is also confirmed in social worker notes, taken from an interview conducted after the S.R. and G.R. were discovered living on the Ranch in November 2015, (Social Service Records – Rucki ) “The girls appeared well cared for and like it at the (redacted).”

The social worker reports that S.R. told her,”It was so great up there.” And,”They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and says Gina was like a mom to her.

S.R. also told the social worker about the abusive, dysfunctional home environment created by her father, David Rucki, and warned that she would run if placed back into his custody.

G.R. says this about the Dahlens,”She feels Doug and Gina gave up their lives for them. She feels at peace there, they talked about God and read the Bible. They taught her to forgive.

When asked about her father, G.R. told the social worker, “She still feels fear of dad… She does not want to live with him and she feels he still has control over her. She does not feel mom played role in her thoughts or feelings about her dad.” G.R. also stated that she will run if made to return to dad.

TRANSITIONING FAMILIES INVOLVED IN WITNESS TAMPERING?

(Note: Inquiry by Justice blog.. these comments are NOT part of the Dahlen’s motion)

It is unknown if S.R. or G.R. have attempted to run away again but it is known that the sisters were put through intensive de-programming (aka mind control) and reunification therapy at Transitioning Families, a  ranch  situated in a remote location in California. It could be argued that David Rucki’s efforts to put S.R. and G.R. in the program at Transitioning Families is a form of witness tampering.

Transitioning Families was chosen because if the girls did attempt to run away they would have no place to go. Court records state that S.R. and G.R. were both willing to attend therapy in Minnesota, and promised not to run if placed in a foster home. There was no need to send the sisters to California because they could undergo therapy in Minnesota, where they live, and where they would receive ongoing treatment (if needed). There would be no risk of running if the girls were placed in a foster home, and allowed to transition back into their lives at their own pace and comfort level.  But that didn’t happen.

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Therapist Dr. Rebecca Bailey, of Transitioning Families, facilitated reunification between David Rucki and the girls. At the time of reunification, Rucki was on probation after being convicted of a violent road rage incident. Yet Bailey showed no concern for the safety of the girls, despite Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, that included being referred to anger management and psychological testing as part of probation. In an interview with a local paper, Rucki says Dr. Bailey determined that he does not pose a danger to anyone after an incident where he was kicked in the privates by a pony, and did not show signs of violence. However, that incident does not qualify as a valid psychological assessment, or involve the use of acceptable medical practices. Evidence suggests that Dr. Bailey ignored and/or dismissed abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children, as well as evidence supporting that abuse did occur. Dr. Bailey also failed to consider Rucki’s history or do a risk assessment when forcing the S.R. and G.R. (and their siblings) into reunification. The end result of the Transitioning Families program was that adults who are skilled in psychology used isolation and programming tactics to get two vulnerable, frightened teenage girls to recant abuse allegations. From the motion filed by the Dahlens (p. 5) “Intimidate can simply mean to make timidIn the Eighth Circuit, exhortations to remain loyal to one’s people or family is sufficient to support a conviction for witness tampering...”

The way testimony was taken from S.R. during the criminal trial of her mother could also be considered witness tampering. During her criminal trial, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki attempted to subpoena S.R. (who had turned 18) and G.R. to appear and testify. Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts were challenged by both David Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliott, and by Prosecutor Kathryn Keena. Their arguments were supported by Dr. Bailey, who wrote a letter to the Court, stating she did not feel the girls were capable of testifying and recommended that if S.R.. were to testify it should be by video only. Dr. Bailey’s letter was submitted to Judge Karen Asphaug for review. Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney were not given a copy, nor allowed to read it. Judge Asphaug agreed with the recommendation, G.R. was not allowed to testify and S.R. could testify by video only.

S.R. testified by video conferencing under extremely unusual circumstances. S.R. was out of view of the jury and present with her in the room was father, David Rucki, paternal aunt Tammy Jo Love (her fear of Love caused S.R. to run away), and both paternal grandparents and an armed bailiff. The defense attorney was limited in the questions he could ask and evidence of abuse was suppressed.

According to the motion (p. 5),”Witness tampering can be overt or subtle and includes emotional manipulation…The Minnesota Supreme Court has recognized that even ‘general or specific threats of reprisal’ would constitute witness intimidation…The Court has also acknowledged that  the mere presence of spectators in the courtroom can result in witness intimidation.

BASIS FOR THE WITNESS TAMPERING MOTION

Doug and Gina Dahlen raise a compelling, and legally sound, argument that witness tampering involving S.R. did occur.

From the time S.R. and G.R. stayed at the Ranch until their tearful good-bye, the girls have consistently told the same story about the abuse they have endured at the hands of their father, and the failure of the family court to protect them, is the reason why they ran away, to seek safety. Upon return to Rucki’s care, S.R. told law enforcement that she was  pressured and guilted to recant by her father and Tammy Love. S.R. also stated that court paperwork was “all over the house“, that the issue was constantly raised, and she could not get away from it.  When S.R. did give a statement to police, it was Rucki who drove her to the police station.

Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively researched the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has uncovered another aspect of possible witness tampering involving the same incident: David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers This article offers additional insight on the questionable interview with S.R. and police, conducted on June 30, 2016. During the interview, S.R. reveals that she had been reading about her family’s involvement with the court system on the Carver County Corruption blog. S.R. said she discovered the site after going to the library, logging onto a computer, and doing an internet search on her name.

At the time of the interview the Carver County Corruption blog had been permanently shut down. Another blogger writing about the Grazzini-Rucki case had removed articles she had written from her blog, and stopped covering the case altogether. These events happened in response to a June 7, 2016 letter written to the blog owners from a law firm employed by David Rucki. The letter implied the bloggers could face “various civil claims” against them and “litigation seeking substantial damages“. As a result, the blog articles were taken down, and S.R. was no longer able to freely access information offering another perspective on the case. It should also be noted that the Carver County Corruption blog gave S.R. a voice because it posted letters and comments she provided to the courts. In a broader perspective, shutting down the blogs has also limited the public’s access to information and documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case; and attempted to make one viewpoint – that of David Rucki – the dominant source of information.

LAKEVILLE POLICE IMPLICATED IN WITNESS TAMPERING

The Dahlen motion also implicates Lakeville police in witness tampering, stating that (p. 8), “Law enforcement investigators in this case apparently avoided asking SVR questions which would develop responses favoring the affirmative defense. Anytime the possibility arose that David Rucki would be portrayed in a negative light, Detective Coughlin backed off.

During the June 30th interview, S.R. told Det. Coughlin that she was brought to the interview against her free will, and pressured and guilted into recanting abuse allegations by Rucki and Love. The pressure was so intense that S.R. began to cry.

The motion states that Det. Coughlin never asked S.R. to elaborate when speaking about issues related to abuse. And that S.R.’s statement to police shows change from the story she has consistently told prior to being recovered. S.R.’s testimony takes yet another turn in court, where claims to not have seen or remembered abuse, and stated that she was not in her right mind when speaking to police.

Perhaps the impact of reunification therapy at Transitioning Families has taken its toll? Perhaps Rucki and Love have finally crushed her spirit? What has not changed is that S.R. remains tearful, emotional and her body language indicates trauma – she shakes or curls up into a ball when questioned. And that is the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case, that the court system has completely failed to protect the Rucki children from the abuse they endured and witnessed, and instead protected the abuser, to the detriment of the children.

The Dahlen motion has not only raised concerns about witness tampering but at its core, it is a statement that raises serious concerns that S.R. (and the other Rucki children) is being emotionally and psychologically abused and continue to be at risk in the care of David Rucki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fletcher Long and Michael Volpe: Shocking Developments in Grazzini-Rucki Case

Jaw-Dropping show with Fletcher Long and Michael Volpe on the Grazzini-Rucki case reveals layers of corruption, abuse cover-up

Date: January 10, 2017

Listen Online: http://mixlr.com/iradiofreedom/showreel/iradiofreedom-on-mixlr-49/

Fletcher Long and Michael Volpe discuss a variety of topics that include:

1) Michael Brodkorb’s questionable involvement in the Grazzini-Rucki case; and close relationship with David Rucki. Michael Brodkorb is a political blogger and supporter of David Rucki, that has been following and publicly commenting on the Grazzini-Rucki case.

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Fletcher Long reads a provocative e-mail that he received from Brodkorb. Long says about the letter, “I never had a member of the news media make an editorial and rather impassioned plea on behalf of the subject of his story.”

And “This guy has lost his objectivity… His advocation of David Rucki was unseemly, off putting and unexpected…”

Michael Volpe responds that Brodkorb speaks as if he is David Rucki’s attorney or public relations person rather than an independent media person covering the story.

Brodkorb is fixated on the Grazzini-Rucki case, covering it exclusively and not covering any other case or other news story. Brodkorb says he attends all hearings and has read all publicly available documents. Yet Brodkorb’s coverage of the case omits mention of David Rucki’s criminal record, his violent behavior, and allegations of abuse raised against him.

Is Brodkorb really just a blogger or is something more going on??

Dakota County Judicial Center

Dakota County Judicial Center

2) Due Process Violations during the custody trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (Sept 11-12, 2013), an incident where her attorney, Michelle MacDonald, was strapped in a wheelchair and forced to represent her. Sandra was told by a court officer that court was adjourned and held left (with her files) when Attorney MacDonald’s horrifying ordeal began.

Michelle MacDonald says about the incident,”I sued a judge in Federal court on behalf of a client for civil rights violations. (See Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, et al v. (Judge) David Knutson, United States District Court no. 0:13-CV-02477-SRN; and Petition for Writ to the United States Supreme Court, docket no. 15-220.)

The next day, that same judge made me participate as her attorney in a child custody trial — in handcuffs and a wheelchair, with no shoes, eye glasses, files or client — and missing children. So far, he has gotten away with it. I will make certain there is oversight, accountability and reform of our judicial system.”  Supreme Court Associate Justice 6, Michelle MacDonaldl

The court ordered issued from this outrageous custody ruling became the basis on which Sandra was later convicted for deprivation of parental rights.

Volpe states that judges in the appeals court continue to make excuses for Judge David Knutson, even as he breaks the law, which in turn, help Judge Knutson avoid responsibility for his actions.  “The reason why the Knutsons of the world can do this is because there are appeals court judges who look the other way when this kind of corruption happens.

3a12c-hickknutson02

Judge David Knutson (Source: Lion News)

3) Volpe and Long also analyzes a 99 page collection of documents posted on the “Justice for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Children” blog: druckipolicereports

The collection of documents includes records of David Rucki’s criminal history, protective orders filed against him, police reports regarding incidents of Rucki’s violent behavior,  documentation of stalking, photographs, and a letter written in support of Sandra by a witness to Rucki’s violent behavior. The information contained in the document spans 3 counties, and goes back more than 20 years; establishing a clear pattern of Rucki’s violent and threatening behavior.

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Within the documents, Volpe uncovers criminal records that connect Judge Karen Asphaug to David Rucki, who appeared as a defendant in her court, on two separate occasions to answer to charges.

On each case  Judge Asphaug ruled in Rucki’s favor in what Long says are “curious and extraordinary ways which would tend to suggest a bias in his favor”.

In another case, Rucki appeared before Judge Karen Asphaug as a criminal defendant for a violation for an order for protection; the order was filed by Sandra. Volpe argues that years later, in Sandra’s criminal case, Judge Karen Asphaug would not allow evidence of past abuse, and would not allow evidence of Rucki’s criminal record. Judge Asphaug benefited when the evidence was suppressed because her own involvement in prior cases could be concealed, and she could conceal her own knowledge of the abuse that occurred. After suppressing the evidence, Judge Asphaug then claims there is no evidence of abuse.

Long says Judge Asphaug should not be appointed to Sandra’s criminals case because she has too much intimate knowledge, including knowledge about the victim.

lawlesslakeville

A similar pattern has occurred with Judge David Knutson, who presided over a hearing in which a relative of Sandra’s filed a restraining order against Rucki after he threatened to kill him. Judge Knutson dismissed the order for protection, and later went on to preside over the Grazzini-Rucki family court case. Keep in mind that David Rucki personally asked Judge Knutson to be appointed to the family court case after he contest the original judgement and decree.

Judge Knutson was initially appointed to the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, where he set her bail at $1 million dollars. Judge Knuston got off the criminal case and appointed Judge Karen Asphaug to fill the vacancy.

This shows the level of corruption in this case…” Michael Volpe says about the two judges who had prior experience with David Rucki, always ruled in his favor, who were later instrumental in convicting ex-wife Sandra of criminal charges, and always ruling against her.

4) The outrageous complaint filed against Michelle MacDonald, filed by Judge Knutson who criticized MacDonald performance in court during the custody trial where he alone impeded her work. MacDonald is facing a 2 month suspension.

Listen to this valuable, and informative show! You will hear information on the Grazzini-Rucki case that major news outlets refuse to cover.

You will also be given valuable insights on the case that will deepen your understanding of the legal system, your rights and help you to identify an out of control judge.

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.

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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