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!

Advertisements

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.”

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

REPOST CDN NEWS: Does a Recent Police Report Exonerate Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

Does a recently found police report exonerate Sandra Grazzini-Rucki? <– READ FULL ARTICLE! 

Michael Volpe, of CDN News, reports on a newly released police report from the Lakeville P.D. that reveals that runaway teens, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, fought against returning to their father after being discovered living on a therapeutic horse ranch after going into hiding for more than 2 years. The girls decided to run away after the family court system failed to protect them from an abusive father and placed them into a custody situation they felt was unsafe.

That Samantha and Gianna threatened to run away from their father’s care AFTER being discovered by police the supports defense raised by mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, that she hid them for their safety (which is an affirmative defense). The girls demonstrated palpable fear of their father, David Rucki. It also validates the defense of Doug and Gina Dahlen who claimed both girls repeatedly threatened to run away if returned to their father, and they allowed the girls to stay on the ranch for their own safety, and that the girls were free to leave at any time but chose to stay of their own free will.

The police report, from November 21, 2015, was never seen before by Sandra who was charged with parental deprivation for her efforts to protect her daughters. As part of the discovery process, this police report should have been turned over to Grazzini-Rucki, and the 3 other defendants charged in this case.

According to Volpe: “If the Dakota County Prosecutor, whose office prosecuted the case, failed to provide this police report, this would be a “Brady violation” named after the U.S. Supreme Court Case Brady V Maryland, in which a conviction was overturned after prosecutors failed to provide exculpatory evidence, meaning, in this case, evidence favorable to the defense. In order for a legal proceeding to be just, all evidence must be shared with both sides…Ignoring Brady is not only an egregious violation of prosecutorial ethics…

Volpe goes on to say: “Given this issue, under normal circumstances, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s conviction would have been thrown out. But nothing has been normal in this case.

READ the police report for yourself –  Lakeville P.D. Supplement Report Grazzini-Rucki 11/21/2015

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

Upon being found at a therapeutic horse ranch belonging to Doug and Gina Dahlen on 11/18/2015, the Rucki sisters told police they would run away again if returned to the care of their father, David Rucki.

According to the police report: “Samantha and Gianna came down, and immediately told us that they would not go back to their father. We told them that our first concern was their safety. I did ask them about the last time that they had heard from their mother, and they told me that they would not say anything without a lawyer.The report also indicated that Samantha has quote “issues with males”.

Arriving on scene was Detective Kelli Coughlin from the Lakeville police, who previously responded to an incident where Rucki swore and threatened a member of ex wife, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family. The previous police report shows Rucki’s propensity towards violence, and the very real fear other people have of him. It also shows that Coughlin had knowledge of Rucki’s abuse violent behavior towards his family, and when the Lakeville P.D. pushed to return to the Rucki girls to a home they felt was unsafe, the Lakeville P.D. did so with full knowledge of the case, including abuse allegations.

The police report indicates the victim is fearful for his family and feels Rucki will follow through on his threats that include “I‘m coming after you and you won’t see me coming” and “It probably won’t be me (that will get you).” At the time of the incident, Sandra’s mother died the night before after an agonizing battle with cancer. While the family was still grieving Rucki fought to gain control of the family trust, and threatened and intimidated family members to stake a claim on something that was not legally or rightfully his. Rucki Police Report

Samantha and Gianna were assigned a social worker and also given a lawyer, both argued in court on behalf of the sisters that they their father and did not want to be placed in his care. The sisters stated they would attend therapy and not attempt to run away again if they were able to stay in foster care. Judge Michael Mayer of Dakota County denied the request, the sisters were sent to reunification therapy in rural California and then were placed backed into the custody of David Rucki, father, against their will.

Tim Kinley of “Speechless Minnesota” on Grazzini-Rucki Case: “I have never, ever seen as much corruption in our courts…as I have in this case..”

Public Domain Image: http://allswalls.com. Edited by Justice Blog.

Tim Kinley, public access host of “Speechless Minnesota”, covering issues of family law reform, judicial accountability and all levels of politics in Minnesota says he was shut down from SCC Studio in White Bear Lake because of “politics” and “they didn’t want our message out there.” After 9 months, Kinley is back and stronger than ever!

During the 1st half of an episode of “Speechless” that originally aired on 3/8/2017, Kinley provides updates on the Grazzini-Rucki case.

Kinley says about the Grazzini-Rucki case,”This case, all together, not only with the civil side of the case to the criminal side of the case, is just unbelievable! I have never, ever seen as much corruption in our courts, so systemic, so obvious, so in your face, as I have in this case….this case enters into the most amount of legal issues that I’ve seen in any case, and it is so bad…”

Topics Discussed:

*Efforts to press for an investigation of the Grazzini-Rucki case in the Legislature

*Child support issues in the Grazzini-Rucki case

*Systemic judicial corruption existing at all levels of government in Minnesota and especially the judiciary, being exposed in the Grazzini-Rucki case

*Comparing judicial disciplinary actions in two similar cases in Minnesota and Nevada

“Speechless Minnesota” with Tim Kinley

Kinley says he has been petitioning the Legislature to do a case study, and go through this case “piece by piece” on the Grazzini-Rucki case “for the purpose only of understanding how a judge interprets their laws that they are writing.. and they will find out that a judge does whatever they want.”

Kinley argues that even if the law is changed a judge will continue to “do what they want” and they only remedy is increased judicial accountability.

To illustrate his point, Kinley compares the actions of Judge David L. Knutson and former Nevada judge, Conrad Hafen in two similar cases that were handled very differently in their respective states.

Judge David L. Knuston, is the family law judge appointed to the Grazzini-Rucki case. In September 2013, during the custody trial Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, was found in contempt of court, and placed in handcuffed after taking a picture in the courtroom, which she had gotten permission to take.

While MacDonald was detained, Sandra was told that court was dismissed and then left the courthouse, taking the files with her. MacDonald was then ordered to continue with trial, while still in handcuffs and strapped to a wheelchair, without her client being present, without case files and without her glasses or shoes. MacDonald was finally released after spending more than 24 hours behind bars without being charged, booked or allowed a phone call. Lawyer Allegedly Tortured For Doing Her Job

Judge Knutson was never held accountable – federal lawsuits against him are dismissed under the guise of immunity, and The Board on Judicial Standards refuses to investigate (Knutson is now a member of the Board). In fact, Judge Knutson later filed a disciplinary complaint against Michelle MacDonald, who has been charged with making a false statement against a judge! Michelle MacDonald receives ‘minimal’ discipline

Kinley compares this incident to a case from Nevada involving disciplinary action taken against former family court judge Conrad Hafen, who has been barred for life from the court bench in Nevada as punishment for a series of courtroom confrontations, including ordering a defense attorney to be handcuffed when she wouldn’t stop arguing to keep a client out of jail. Hafen is also accused, in 3-4 separate incidents, of holding litigants in contempt of court but never making a record of that. Ex-judge banned from Nevada bench for handcuffing of lawyer

 Kinley applauds the State of Nevada for “willing to expose” out of control judges, and for enforcing judicial accountability… the same cannot be said for Minnesota.

Click on the video below to watch this riveting episode of “Speechless”

Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Defends Corrupt Judge, Refuses to Intervene in Grazzini-Rucki Case

Is the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office participating in a cover up of corruption happening in Dakota County? 

The current Attorney General in Minnesota is Laurie Swanson, who was elected in 2006, and reelected in 2010 and 2014. The Attorney General’s Office has been receiving documentation concerning the Grazzini-Rucki case for over 5 years and has refused to investigate or take any action in the face of serious allegations, and evidence, showing corruption in local government and law enforcement. However, when opposing President Trump’s immigrant order, Lori Swanson said “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security. The same can be said for Dakota County; yet instead of taking a public stance on a very real concern that affects not only the Grazzini-Rucki family but the entire state of Minnesota, and possibly tens of thousands of families victimized by an out of control court system, Swanson remains silent. Now is a time for leadership, not silence.

Minn. Attorney General Lori Swanson (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

The ONLY action the Attorney General’s Office has taken in the Grazzini-Rucki case is to vigorously defend the law-breaking, corrupt family law judge, David L. Knuston… this flies in the face of a recent letter issued by the Attorney General’s office stating they have no authority over “investigating and prosecuting criminal matters”.

An article, and letter recently published by journalist Michael Volpe of CDN News Minnesota Attorney General’s office adds to confusion in Rucki case shows that the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has recently been made aware of possible violations of the law in the Grazzini-Rucki case committed by various officials in Dakota County who are involved with the case. The Attorney General’s office acknowledges that they have received a letter from Volpe but has declined to take any action. Even if the Attorney General felt they had “no authority” they could at least refer to the complaint to an agency who could investigate or intervene. Instead the Attorney General’s Office refers Volpe to Dakota County, back to the people directly involved in potentially illegal acts, and corruption. The Attorney General is effectively enabling, and empowering those already breaking the law, and violating the Constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and the five Rucki children.

Judge David L Knutson

The Attorney General’s office has been receiving documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case since 2011; with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her family law attorney, Michelle MacDonald, both contacting the Attorney General’s office. In 2013, Sandra Grazzini and Ms. MacDonald requested a meeting a with the Attorney General’s Office regarding a complaint against Dr. James Gilbertson. A meeting was held in which the Assistant Attorney General and an attorney appeared on behalf of Lori Swanson. During the meeting, the Attorney General’s Office was made aware of the abuse of the Rucki children by father David Rucki, and made aware of inappropriate behavior from therapist Dr. James Gilbertson, who was working with the children. Affidavits from S.R. and G.R. detailing abuse, court failures and allegations against Dr. Gilbertson, as well as their audio testimony, was provided to the Attorney General’s Office, among other substantial evidence of abuse. At the time of the meeting S.R. and G.R. had run away, and were still missing. During the meeting, the Attorney General’s Office promised they would protect the Rucki children from their father, David Rucki, and protect them from therapist, Dr. James Gilbertson, if they came into the office. For the Attorney General’s Office to now say that they will not get involved in the Grazzini-Rucki case contradicts their statement from 2013 stating they would protect the children.

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

The Minnesota Attorney General’s office has failed to protect the Rucki children as promised and instead has protected those who have placed the children in the abusive situation. In 2013/2014 Attorney General’s Office defended family law judge David L. Knutson, in a federal civil rights case involving Sandra and her children (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki v. Judge David Knutson, No. 13-cv-02477). In this matter, Alethea M Huyser represented the Attorney General’s Office. The cost of this defense was raised with tax payer dollars, and the expense of individual liberties. In Minnesota, an untold number of tax payer dollars, an estimated tens of thousands of dollars, was used to argue that Judge Knutson is immune for any consequence including a suit for damages regardless of what he did – even if he violated basic civil rights.

An online comments says about the lawsuit“…what Judge David Knutson has done to this woman and her family is diabolical. There is no possible way ANY rational human being could look at the file of this case and not have it be abundantly clear how out of control the “system” is when a judge can get away with what this man has done. This is not about a divorce, or a couple arguing over custody of their children…….that had already been settled long before Judge Knutson became involved in this case. This is about a judge acting completely outside the confines of the law, which is why he is being sued as an individual.

As the CHIEF legal officer of the State of Minnesota, the Attorney General should be active in preventing corruption from happening within local government and state law enforcement agencies, should be defending citizens from Constitutional violations committed by judges and public officials, and should investigate – or refer the complaint to an authority who can investigate. Lori Swanson has the guts to stand up to the President of the United States – then why can’t she stand up to Judge David L. Knutson, and Dakota County?

And that is the great travesty of justice that has occurred in Grazzini-Rucki case, and is abundantly evident in the response from the Attorney General’s office – that when confronted with real substantial showing corruption is occurring in government offices, that the power entrusted to elected officials is being abused, that lives are being destroyed and laws being broken by judges, state officials, law enforcement (etc) that have violated their mandated duties – the Attorney General, like so many others in the State of Minnesota, has chosen to ignore, deny, shift blame or engage in victim blaming. Ultimately refusal to act equates that of being an enabler to injustice.

ALSO READ Archived Articles from the Carver County Corruption Blog:

“Minnesota Tax Payers To Pay Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Judge’s Legal Defense”. Posted 12/11/2013.

Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson announced in a letter dated October 10, 2013 that her office will defend Judge David Knutson in a federal civil rights case. The cost of this defense will be tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Damages owed by Minnesota taxpayer will be tens of millions of dollars if the plaintiff wins her case.

The plaintiff in the case alleges that Judge Knutson, a former republican state senator appointed to be a judge by former governor Tim Pawlenty, violated the plaintiff’s civil rights and the rights of her five children ages 10, 12, 13, 15 and 17 in a Dakota County divorce and custody proceeding. Judge Knutson deprived the plaintiff of her home of seventeen years, her automobile, all of her other assets and possessions, leaving her homeless and penniless. Worse, Judge Knutson declared the plaintiff had Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a completely discredited theory. The PAS theory is that if children hate their father, it’s the mother’s fault, even if the father is an abuser. The father, David Rucki, has a long history of domestic abuse and also a history of sexual abusing his own daughters. Records show that he failed to report or pay taxes on millions of dollars of income. All of plaintiff’s children were taken from her. She has had less than four hours of contact with her children this past year. Two of her children, teenage girls, ran from their father’s and his sister’s abuse of them in April, 2013, six months ago. They still are on the run and not even in school. Judge Knutson is a participant in the abuse of these girls. This is domestic violence in Minnesota’s courts in the very month that is domestic violence awareness month.

The complaint asks for tens of millions of dollars as damages. If the federal court that hears the case and the jury that decides it rules in plaintiff’s favor, Minnesota taxpayers will have to pay the damages.”

Also from the Carver County Corruption Blog:

“Legislative Oversight of the Judiciary”. Posted 1/11/2014.

“Now Is The Time

Judges can do anything they want – violate constitutions, ignore enacted laws, disregard court rules of procedure, refuse to follow appellate court precedent – with no consequence or penalty at all. They have unlimited power. They are not accountable to anyone. Not even if they hurt children, destroy families, or alienate children from their parents. This was vividly illustrated at a hearing in Minnesota’s federal district court on January 10, 2014 in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki v. Judge David Knutson, No. 13-cv-02477 (SRN/JSM). Lori Swanson, the Minnesota Attorney General, vigorously defended Judge Knutson in this case without charge, i.e., at public expense. Her deputy argued that Judge Knutson was immune from any consequence including a suit for damages regardless of what he did – even if he violated basic civil rights.

In other words, according to Attorney General Swanson, judges are God. They are infallible. Like kings, they can do no wrong. But, is this the way it should be? Does Minnesota’s constitution fail to address this? The answer to both questions is “no.” Judges should be required to follow the Minnesota and U.S. constitutions, enacted laws, court rules of procedure, appellate precedent, and do what is right and just. They should not be allowed to ignore these standards. Legislative oversight, similar to executive oversight provided by the Legislative Auditor, will accomplish this. This should be because it will curb domestic violence, child abuse, repair our family court system, and because it is what is best for our society.

The book, Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody, edited by Barry Goldstein and Mo Hannah, states in the book’s introduction, “As one would expect of a diverse group of experts coming from many different disciplinary and practice fields, our contributors do not agree on every issue or approach. Nevertheless, they show an overwhelming consensus that the custody court system as presently constituted is broken and that the court’s failure to apply current research findings to court practices has placed the lives and well-being of thousands of children and protective mothers in jeopardy.” Thirty-two nationally recognized scholars contributed chapters to this book. One of these contributors, Erika A. Sussman, a nationally recognized attorney, wrote, “While legislatures and the general public have come to recognize domestic violence (DV) as a private and public wrong, family courts throughout the nation continue to inflict enormous injustices upon battered women and their children. In the name of ‘gender equity’ and ‘fatherhood rights’, custody courts often render decisions that ignore the substantial risks posed by battering parents, thereby jeopardizing the physical safety of survivors and their children.” Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of children and protective parents are victims of a severely dysfunctional judicial system, including many guardians ad litem (GAL), custody evaluators, and other court “experts.” Thousands of children are badly hurt and damaged by domestic violence and abusive parents, mostly fathers. These children become hurt and damaged adults. Many turn to alcohol and drugs. Some become violent resulting in massacres and murders. Our society is being poisoned by our dysfunctional judiciary. Judge accountability is the obvious solution. As Niccolo Machiavelli wrote, and as history has shown many, many times, power corrupts, especially unlimited power.

Please introduce a bill – already prepared – that implements Minnesota Constitution Article VI, Section 9, which provides; ‘The legislature may also provide for the retirement, removal, or other discipline of any judge who is disabled, incompetent or guilty of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.’

Posted Online in Reference to the Minn. Attorney General’s Office:

In excess of 7 YEARS of CORRUPTION in the MN. Attorney Generals Office (archives of  corruption)

ACORN, Payola and Color of Law

Two new issues surface involving attorney general’s office

Attorney General Complaint Letter Capital One

Did Hatch divert money to allies and ACORN in 2006?

Minnesota AG office accused of fraud, politicization, abuse

U.S. House Committee to Investigate MN Attorney General Lori Swanson

 

The Dahlens Plead Guilty – But Only After Attorney Argues Witness Tampering, 5th Amendment Violations (Michael Volpe, repost)

Public Domain: http://tinypic.com

A recent article by journalist Michael Volpe, who has been extensively covering the Grazzini-Rucki case, chronicles the criminal charges filed against Doug and Gina Dahlen for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki teens, and the resulting guilty plea.

5th Amendment violations, witness tampering, alleged in Rucki case by Michael Volpe (CDN News)

 

On November 18, 2015, a swarm of police and federal marshals descended on the small town of Herman, Minnesota. The rumble of trucks and men disturbed the quiet countryside, kicking up dust along dirt roads. The frantic chatter of radio announced the breaking news – the two missing Rucki sisters had been found on the Ranch of Doug and Gina Dahlen. The sisters, S.R. and G.R. were not happy to have been “found” and over the next few weeks, would bravely come forward to describe the nightmare that caused them to run away – physical and mental abuse at the hands of their father, David Rucki, and an uncaring family court system led by Judge David L. Knutson ignored their cries for help and worked to place them back into the care and custody of a dangerous abuser.

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina are an exceptional couple who has dedicated their lives to helping abused and traumatized children, and supporting families in need. They reside in the small town of Herman, Minnesota, which boasts that it is a “small town with BIG values!”; and holds true to that promise with a population just below 500 souls. The Dahlens are an all-American family, working hard to establish a non-profit therapeutic horse ranch on land Doug purchased from his grandparents that would be named White Horse Ranch. The Ranch also operates as an animal rescue and has taken in at-risk horses, and even dogs. The October 2014 WHR newsletter demonstrates the success of the program, and generosity of the Dahlens,”To date this season we have had 130 youth visit the ranch; and of these we worked with 44 of them one-on-one. Our youngest visitor was five months old, and our oldest was 85.”

Doug and Gina risked it all to shelter S.R. and G.R. – providing safety, nurturing and a second chance to experience their childhood that had been long denied. The Dahlens believed the teen girls truly had been abused – the girls not only spoke about abuse but their physical and mental state also indicated abuse and trauma had occurred. Investigative Report Dahlen, Witness Statements

The Dahlens offered their home, and their heart, to protect S.R. and G.R. from imminent physical or emotional harm. Now the Dakota County court system that worked against the Grazzini-Rucki family, would wage its legal guns at the Dahlens, and ruthlessly work to destroy the very family that had saved the lives of these terrified teens.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Doug and Gina plead guilty to felony charges in January 2017 but their attorney argues the Dahlens were basically bullied into accepting the plea under circumstances that involved witness tampering and Constitutional violations.

Doug and Gina have no previous criminal record. They are not dangerous; and in fact are described as being “kind and generous“. Doug and Gina did not act with malice or criminal intent, but instead, chose to help the Rucki girls because they were truly concerned for their well-being.

Both S.R. and G.R. have expressed their experience at the Ranch was positive, and they stayed based on their free will choice. S.R. said about the Ranch,”It was so great up there! They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and states Gina was like a mom to her.” G.R. says she does not feel that she needs therapy because after her stay at the Ranch “she has it figured out” and remarks made to a social worker indicate that G.R. felt at peace – her only fear was returning to the care of her father, David Rucki. Rucki Social Service Records, Abuse Allegations

If anyone should be criminally charged, it should be Judge David Knutson, the Guardian ad Litem, court appointed therapists and others involved in the case who failed to protect the 5 Rucki children from abuse, and instead forced these children to live with the identified, and proven, abuser, David Rucki. David Rucki Police Reports, Documented History of Violence

When questioned about abuse allegations, and irregularities in the handling of the Grazzini-Rucki case, Dakota County, the Lakeville Police and Dr. Rebecca Bailey have all avoided questions raised by Volpe and CDN News.

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

What is Dakota County hiding? And why are so many refusing to answer basic questions about the Grazzini-Rucki case?

Uncover the truth, read Michael Volpe’s article in full: 5th Amendment violations, witness tampering, alleged in Rucki case by Michael Volpe (CDN News)

 

Additional Information on Doug and Gina Dahlen:

Couple who cared for missing teens on their ranch for two years say that runaway sisters would be better off with them…

IGC: GINA DAHLEN’S VISION QUEST

Riding with Faith, Spirit and Vision