Battered from the Bench: Magistrate Pastoor Advocates for Legal Protection of Abused Women, Does Opposite in Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case

Battered from the Bench: Magistrate Pastoor Advocates for Legal Protection of Abused Women, Does Opposite in Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case

Public Domain Images: Architecture – http://wallpaperswide.com, Lady Justice – http://www.picswalls.com. Edited by Justice Blog.

Child Support Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor claims to be a feminist and defender of battered women. She wrote in a widely publicized paper Police Training and the Effectiveness of Minnesota Domestic Abuse Laws (1984) that (p.9) “Prosecutors and judges, in particular, often ignore or trivialize the harm battered women suffer….At best, legal officers are consistent, at worst, criminal. If Pastoor really holds these beliefs, how can she justify the extreme rulings she has issued in the Grazzini-Rucki child support case?

The actions of the corrupt courts in Dakota County have hit Sandra Grazzini-Rucki like a massive earthquake, her life has been shaken to the core, causing devastation on every level. Sandra has been forcibly estranged from the five children she loves. Her 30+ year career as a flight attendant is in ruins and she is currently unemployed. All of her personal belongings have been seized by order of Judge David L. Knutson and turned over to abusive ex husband, David Rucki. In addition, any potential future income Sandra earns will be seized immediately handed to Rucki. Should Sandra become disabled or unable to work, even social security payments will be given to Rucki. Sandra now lives homeless, destitute and afraid for her life.

Just as earthquakes happen along the cracks in the surface of the earth, Sandra’s life has been cracked due to injustices of the court, and along those fault lines she would be struck again, this time in child support proceedings. Magistrate Pastoor, who once said, “The husband reasons that if his wife is bad, he is justified in hitting her. Because he is a man, he has the power to destroy what he does not like.”(p. 24) is now presiding over the Grazzini-Rucki child support case. Contrary to those remarks, Magistrate Pastoor has given David Rucki the power to destroy what he does not like – ex-wife, Sandra. Enabled by “injustice system”, Rucki has been given the tools to abuse, harass and stalk his ex-wife, Sandra, through the court system.

Magistrate Pastoor Has Connection to Judge Knuston, Asked to Be Appointed to Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Case

Magistrate Pastoor made great efforts to be put on the Grazzini-Rucki child support case. Throughout her appointment, Magistrate Pastoor has extended special treatment to David Rucki, and taken a radical departure from the law in doing so.

Are Magistrate Pastoor’s actions being influenced by her prior connection to Judge David L. Knutson? Magistrate Pastoor has previously worked side by side on the Parental Cooperation Taskforce with Judge Knutson, their professional relationship has spanned for years.

Consider this: An article written by journalist Michael Volpe Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases? exposes the unusual actions and rulings issued by Judge David Knutson in the Grazzini-Rucki case resulting in ex-husband David Rucki getting preferential treatment in court proceedings. In this article, Volpe raises the question – did Judge Knutson work to get himself onto the Grazzini-Rucki case and then fix cases in Rucki’s favor?

Here, again David Rucki is receiving special treatment in the court, in a similar pattern where the law is circumvented by the extreme and unusual actions of a judge and the other party, Sandra, is victimized when the legal system is used as a weapon rather than to dispense justice.

Pastoor Inflates Income of Homeless, Destitute Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Magistrate Pastoor says that “police must be trained to see a battered woman’s problems and take immediate steps to stop the violence against her...” Shouldn’t a judge or magistrate do the same?

Quoting Pastoor, “The primary problems should be self-evident in most cases–the man subjects the woman to physical and psychological torture. Police must be trained to see a battered woman’s problems and to take immediate steps to stop the violence against her. They should not provide an abusive man with an opportunity to discuss the woman’s supposedly provocative behavior.” (p. 35)

Throughout the Grazzini-Rucki legal proceedings, including child support, it is clear that financial abuse as well as what Magistrate Pastoor calls “physical and psychological torture” is occurring. Sandra’s very existence has been challenged by Rucki, who has enlisted the legal system to make her life as miserable as possible. The comforts most take for granted have been stripped from Sandra’s life – each day she faces the unknown of where she will sleep and if she will eat, haunted by the possibility of further court action against her. Her dreams at night are filled with images of her children, whom she has been prohibited from any contact with…only in dreams that she can see their precious faces again.

As a Magistrate, and as one who advocated for better legal protections for battered women, Pastoor should have been aware of tactics abusers use in legal proceedins and taken care that the court was not being used as a weapon. That is NOT what happened here.

Magistrate Pastoor also says a police officer “should not provide an abusive man with an opportunity to discuss the woman’s supposedly provocative behavior” yet in the Grazzini-Rucki child support case, she gives Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliot, not only a stage but a standing ovation to engage in victim blaming against Sandra. Magistrate Pastoor’s rulings are not based on fact or evidence but rely solely on the word of an abuser bent on destroying the victim.

What Rucki is really saying is that Sandra should be worked like a slave and then forced to turn over all of her income to him – this is abusive. Magistrate Pastoor says about the mentality of an abuser, ”In marriage relationships many men regard “their” women as property, with which they can do as they please. The man has the right to control the woman “by virtue of having penetrated her with his penis.” (p. 28) Once again Magistrate Pastoor says one thing and does another – her rulings only reinforce Rucki’s control over Sandra, and place her in a position of poverty and desperation where she cannot assert her rights, and has been deprived of basic human dignity.

Sandra has been chronically homeless since being illegally removed from her home by Judge Knutson on September 7, 2012. Judge Knutson then ordered that Sandra’s pay be garnished, which caused further financial hardship, and made it impossible for her to recover. In December 2015, the Red Herring Alert blog reported: Her wages are garnished 25% for payment of past marital taxes even though mother has been left destitute with prior use of MN Care Insurance and food stamps after the divorce. Her ex-husband’s income is in excess of $200,000 per month and he retains all of the marital property.” Red Herring Alert posted a picture of Sandra’s paycheck showing that after deductions, the net pay is negative – $2.49. How is Sandra supposed to survive..what the court system is doing to her amounts to attempted murder.

Despite the evidence showing Sandra’s poverty, and that she currently has NO income, Magistrate Pastoor imputed Sandra’s income at a whopping $4,143 a month! In the revised child support order, from October 13, 2016,Sandra Grazzini-Rucki ordered to pay $1K monthly child support  The order reflects Sandra has a monthly income of $0 zero dollars then includes an imaginary number in a “potential income” of $4143 a month. Child support is based on the “potential income” rather than the facts of the case.

The conditions of release, and complications of the criminal case, make it impossible for Sandra to work as a flight attendant. And with 6 felonies on her record, it has been impossible to obtain  employment. 

The State of Minnesota has since denied general assistance and food support to Sandra, she lives day to day in an unimaginable fight for survival. Sandra is living in truly desperate circumstances… child support should have been put on reserve.

Sandra has since filed an appeal in both her criminal court case, and filed an appeal on the child support case…she will continue to fight for justice.

 

Ways YOU Can Show Support:

Please like and comment on the Sandra “Sam” Grazzini-Rucki Facebook Page

Tune into Sandra’s weekly show Fighting B.A.C.K. on “Future of Our Children” radio from 6-8 pm EST/5-7 pm Central: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/futureofourchildren

Please like, comment and repost articles from the Justice Blog and from journalist Michael Volpe posting at CDN News: http://www.commdiginews.com/?s=grazzini-rucki

Use hashtag #grazzinirucki #riggedtrial and #evavold when posting

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Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Hearing Raises Concerns of Fraud, Abuse of Discretion

lionmoney

An August 11th 2016 child support hearing in Dakota County regarding David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, played out with the antics of a circus side show, freakishly contorting law and issuing orders that defy justice.

The hearing was presided by Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor (a magistrate is appointed in cases where the obligee is receiving public assistance). Magistrate Pastoor issued a temporary order for child support and continued the case to hold an evidentiary hearing, just 5 days before Sandra’s sentencing on criminal charges, to determine child support. How can you issue a child support order days before a person may be sentenced to prison? According to Minnesota law, if the court determines that a person has no income and completely lacks the ability to earn income, then the minimum support does not apply and child support may not be ordered. Also, minimum support orders do not apply to an obligor who is incarcerated, unless they have income and assets to pay support. Sandra has neither income or assets. It is unprecedented that Magistrate Pastoor would issue a child support order under these circumstances. The amount of money and resources Dakota County has expended on pursuing Sandra for child support, has far exceeded any benefit it can hope to gain.

Another bizarre aspect of this child support case is the restrictions Magistrate Pastoor put on attorney, Michelle MacDonald, severely limiting her ability to access and review financial information about David Rucki. Ms. MacDonald has filed several discovery requests, and contempt motions against Rucki. Rucki continues to obstruct child support proceedings by refusing to comply with court orders and provide financial information. Another ploy Rucki uses is filing frivolous motions against Sandra, and waging false accusations without evidence to back up his outlandish claims. Dakota County refuses to hold him accountable, contempt orders are always dismissed.

Millionaire David Rucki now claims to be living in the lowest levels of poverty, and is receiving public assistance without ever proving a need for it.

One Sided Evidentiary Hearing

In order to establish child support the Court has to determine the income of BOTH parents. Under Minnesota law, both parents must file a financial affidavit, and disclose all sources of gross income for purposes of child support. Sandra has complied. David Rucki is refusing to cooperate and is actively hiding income and assets. Rucki is also refusing to comply with discovery requests. Dakota County is well aware that he has refused to provide information, but has done nothing to hold him accountable.

Now, Magistrate Pastoor has issued an order severely limiting the ability of Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to review and access financial information about Rucki.  Pastoor’s bizarre order states that Ms. MacDonald may view Rucki’s recent filing and tax return only under the watch of a sheriff’s deputy at the Dakota County Service Center. Ms. MacDonald can not have any electronics in her possession when viewing the information (is she going to be searched? patted down?). Ms. MacDonald is not allowed to have copies of the actual documents but can take handwritten notes (how does that comply with evidentiary standards?). She may only view the information at a time “acceptable to court administration”. There are ways to protect the confidentiality of parties but what Magistrate Pastoor is imposing is oppressive, and goes above and beyond standard court confidentiality policies.

A fair and impartial evidentiary hearing can not be one sided – each party should be treated the same by the Court, and each held to the same set of rules and practices. Let’s be clear – this is a child support case, NOT a national security issue. The order does not indicate any justification for such drastic measures. This is clearly an abuse of discretion.

Rucki: From Riches to Rags

Pic posted by David Rucki, Facebook April 2016, with a statement about missing daughters.

Without providing any proof of income or assets. millionaire David Rucki now claims he is desperately poor, that the children are starving and struggling, and he requires public assistance in order to survive. According to court records, “The Father (Rucki) receives child support services from Dakota County for the joint children pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.” Rucki has also received assistance from the Wetterling Foundation in obtaining “reunification” therapy in California for his runaway teenage daughters, with a Disney vacation thrown in.

However, the court record also contains evidence that Rucki had substantial income, had ownership in several Minnesota businesses, owns or has possession of, multiple vehicles and has at least 3 real estate properties (two that have recently been remodeled). Even if Rucki refuses to comply with discovery, and even if Rucki refuses to provide the Court with documentation, his income could be imputed for child support purposes. When a Court, and for that matter Dakota County should also be considering this information for eligibility purposes, estimates a party’s income, it can consider a broad range of information – including lifestyle, ability to maintain current expenses, cash flow and other concrete resources (including vehicles). Also, a support order does not have to be based on income alone but can also consider resources, property and business interests.

According to public records, “impoverished” Rucki owns two separate homes in Minnesota, and an additional Disney vacation property in Florida. Rucki owns multiple vehicles, including classic cars. Rucki owns assets, trucks, and equipment related to his trucking business. In addition, Rucki is able to afford expensive legal counsel, and has retained at least two separate law firms to represent his interests.

dave-ruckicaddy

David Rucki driving his classic Cadillac – used to stalk and harass Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Consider This:

A prior real estate listing boasts about Rucki’s home in Farmington – recently updated, cherry cabinets, tiled floors, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, and a two car garage. The property also includes an impressive 65 x 45 heated “shed” that towers over the home. The “shed” includes heat, hot and cold water plumbing, and has an expensive trailer parked out in front. According to public tax statement records, the value of the property is listed at $222,000 with property taxes of $3,315 a year.

http://www.movoto.com/lakeville-mn/17549-flagstaff-ave-lakeville-mn-55024-651_4573184/

Rucki's property in Farmington

Rucki’s property in Farmington (movoto.com)

Rucki also owns a home in an upscale neighborhood in Lakeville – this home includes 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, recent updates, hickory floors and stainless appliances. Total lot size is 22,477 square feet. A recent photo of the home, taken by a satellite map, shows 3 vehicles parked in garage. According to property tax records, the current value of the home is $479,000 with $6,492 in propety taxes.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/19675-Ireland-Pl-Lakeville-MN-55044/1666608_zpid/

Rucki's Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

Rucki’s Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

A previous article on Red Herring Alert offers information and documentation alleging that Rucki was involved in mortgage fraud and title washing in a scheme involving the Lakeville home: MORTGAGE FRAUD? Ireland Place (Red Herring Alert)

In addition, Rucki has been enriched by court orders, issued by Judge David Knutson, that seized Sandra’s portion of her father’s life insurance, and seized all the assets in a family company that belonged to Sandra, and placed millions of dollars right into Rucki’s pocket. Sandra received zero funds from proceeds that rightfully belonged to her. What Rucki did with the proceeds is unclear; the funds have been excluded from child support calculations due to the order of Judge Knutson. Why wouldn’t this be considered income when determining child support? Because Judge Knutson said so!

Dakota County, and its collusive network of courts and agencies, operates like a hall of mirrors in a circus side show, distorting facts, and twisting law until the truth is barely recognizable.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

Keep on Truckin’

David Rucki made millions working in the trucking industry. He is the sole owner of Rucki Enterprises and Rucki Trucking, and also is a partner in local companies Kang Contracting Corp. (uses Rucki’s Farmington address) and K&K Contracting.

Dave Koehnen, Rucki’s partner in K&K Contracting, has an interesting past. In 2007, Koehnen, was the owner of a trucking company, that was under federal investigation for fraud, underpaying drivers and falsifying records on road projects. According to the warrants, investigators sought evidence of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making false statements in connection with federally funded highway projects and mail fraud.” http://www.twincities.com/2007/08/01/dakota-county-3-trucking-firms-accused-of-fraud/ Koehnen attempted to file bankruptcy on this business but the filing was dismissed after a Court determined that he failed to pay back taxes in the amount of $235,000 with the IRS and $98,000 with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Koehnen also has a history of traffic violations, including charges related to violating trucking regulations.

This is not to say that Rucki is responsible for Koehnen’s actions. However, Rucki’s business partnership in K&K Contracting, in combination with failure to disclose income, failure to disclose tax returns, and now reporting that he lives at the poverty level without providing any evidence to support those claims should raise concerns because of the pattern that is emerging.

As for Kang Contracting Corp, one of the addresses it uses is Rucki’s house in Farmington. Kang Contracting Corp received a special contract with Metropolitan Council to help build the “green line” transit train, qualifying as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (51% minority owned business, must be a small business with income guidelines to qualify). The Green Line is an expansive transit project underway in the Twin Cities, with $626 million dollars issued in total contract values. Rucki is a partner in one of 135 DBEs at work on the Green Line, a golden opportunity. How could he be losing money to the point he is impoverished and needing public assistance to survive when awarded such a valuable contract? Metro Council 2014 – Central Corridor Green Line Workforce Story

 Recently, sister Tammy Jo Love, owner of Deephaven Chiropractic, has joined the trucking business, establishing TL Rucki Trucking. TL Rucki Trucking is registered to a home in Eden Prairie, which Tammy uses as a vacation rental. If you look carefully at the logo for TL Rucki Trucking you will see it is the exact same logo used for Rucki Trucking with just a “TL” added to it. TL Rucki Trucking has entered a similar program as Kang Contracting Corp, qualifying for assistance with the City of St. Paul Vender Outreach Program aimed at helping woman-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Eligible businesses are certified and then allowed to bid on city funded projects, which are set aside for these specially qualified businesses, allowing exclusive access to bids and projects. How can Rucki be losing money to the point he is living in poverty when his own sister, who has no experience working in the trucking industry, started her own business using the family name, and is now a successful business woman? Or, if Rucki is so destitute that he needs public assistance in order to support his family, why doesn’t he just ask his sister for a job at TL Rucki Trucking?

Yet no one in the Dakota County family court or child support proceedings is asking questions, just the opposite, efforts to raise concerns and present information are being suppressed not only in the court system but also within the County Attorney’s office as well.

 

James Donehower Admits: Dakota County Gave Public Assistance to Rucki Without Asking for Income Verification

County Attorney James Donehower has now admitted that Dakota County has NO financial records of any kind for David Rucki, they simply extended him public assistance. How is this possible? Nobody knows! It’s a slight of handle trick fit for a circus.

Public assistance fraud happens when a recipient takes benefits they are not entitled to. The biggest red flag for public assistance fraud is failure to report income. Another form of fraud is under reporting income to meet eligibility requirements. Fraud also includes: failure to report property or assets, lying about where you live, and falsifying information on an application.

Donehower is basically saying that Rucki bypassed federal and state laws, and was just given public assistance with no questions asked, and no documentation required. When applying for public assistance, enrollees must provide verification of income (current paystubs, tax returns, verification of employment, etc), provide verification of assets (value of vehicles, bank accounts, property, stocks/bonds etc) and to complete an interview with a caseworker. Recipients are also required to get a job or comply with an employment plan. Failure to do so may result in sanctions or loss of benefits. According to Donehower, NONE of that is happening with David Rucki.

The special treatment Rucki is being afforded by Dakota County is unheard of. Common sense would question why a man with 3 homes, owns multiple vehicles, has a previous earning potential of millions of dollars would suddenly, and without any proof of need, require public assistance. Yet Dakota County is not asking any questions, they are simply opening their pocketbooks. If Rucki can not demonstrate a need for public assistance, and comply with the rules of eligibility, he should not be receiving benefits.

Public Domain: pixaby.com

Public Domain: pixaby.com

In the Grazzini-Rucki case, the courts of Dakota County have operated like a 3 ring circus involving criminal, family and child support proceedings – all have allowed abuse and chaos to continue in the lives of Sandra and the children. The facts, evidence, and information being suppressed and ignored by Dakota County is the information that we should be looking into because the vast injustices happening in this case undermine the legal system for everyone, and create a very real risk of harm for any family who may encounter the system.