Dakota County Corrupt Courthouse Event: Tour Infamous Court at Center of the Grazzini-Rucki Case

Dakota County Judicial Center, Hastings, Minnesota

..all this courtroom has done has cause misery and heartache…” except of a letter written by one of the Rucki children, April 2013

The public is invited to celebrate Constitution Day at the Dakota County “Open Courthouse” event on September 15… held at the epicenter of corruption in Minnesota: the Dakota County Judicial Center. The free, open-to-the public event, will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 2017 Dakota County Open Courthouse Event

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour, and experience firsthand, the infamous courthouse at the center of the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial, and criminal trial where unconstitutional abuses of power by the courts, judges, court officers and law enforcement occurred. Both cases also involve rampant violations of the constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, as well as the 3 co-defendants in the criminal trial.

The public is advised to enter the Dakota County Judicial Center at their own risk – law and justice mean nothing here!

Judge David L. Knutson will make a special appearance at the 12:30 Welcoming Ceremony, held at the Jury Assembly Room, Lower Level.

Wonder if Judge Knutson would be willing to answer questions such as:

**Why did you give custody of five children to a dangerous abuser?

**Why did you ignore the abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children?

**Do you think it is appropriate for a judge to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse?

**Do you think it is okay for a judge to call a child abuse victim a ‘liar’ when they disclose abuse?

**Why did you release David Rucki after several violations of a protective order?

**How is the public supposed to trust the courts when they see you break the law and go to such extreme lengths to give custody to a violent man and deprive a fit, loving mother of custody?

**How do you defend your violations of the Constitutional rights of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki?

**Why did you give such a light sentence to child rapist Dennis Roy?

**Do you support 1st Amendment rights? If so, why are you limiting the free speech of blogger Dede Evavold?

Chances are Judge Knutson, the coward he is, won’t be taking any questions from the public and will continue to hide behind the skirts of judicial immunity.

Judge David L Knutson

The court, judges, prosecutors, police and many layers of corruption within Dakota Count colluded to give sole custody to a dangerous abuser, David Rucki, and worked to cover up their crimes in doing so, to detriment of the five Rucki children. Mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who, fought to keep the children safe from harm is now being punished and criminalized while the real criminals go free.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was a loving, stay-at-home mother of five children, and former Mrs. Lakeville, who has been victimized, deprived of her rights and due process, and forcibly separated from her children due to injustice and corruption in the family court and criminal court of Dakota County. Sandra’s situation is so dire that she is now living in hiding – and her children have been given into the custody of a dangerous abuser with a long history of criminal acts and violence against his own family. druckipolicereports

Dr. James Gilbertson, PhD

 

Guardian ad Litem Julie Friedrich

 

Paul Reitman

The Rucki children have raised abuse allegations against their father only to be told by Judge David Knutson, Guardian ad Litems, Julie Friedrich and Laura Miles, and court-ordered therapists, Dr. Paul Reitman and Dr James Gilbertson, that they are liars and in need of de-programming. And this has occurred – the Rucki children were forced into “de-programming” using methods similar to what is done to a POW camp in order to get the children to recant abuse allegations, and then forced into complying with the courts demands even as it has proved detrimental to their safety and well-being.

If you heard a child come forward with an allegation of abuse like this, would you honestly walk away and do nothing?? That is exactly what Judge Knutson, and others, have done to the Rucki children.

In April 2013, one of the Rucki children wrote a letter to describe how she witnessed her father, David Rucki, abuse her mother, and stated that he was also violent and threatening to other children – to the extreme that her even friends feared visiting the Rucki home.

The letter (which was not allowed to be submitted as evidence in Sandra’s criminal trial) included this statement from her daughter,” I know the difference between a lie and the truth….

I stand here today to tell you the truth about my father. To begin with, he has not only told my family that he is homicidal, but sat us down at kitchen table and yelled at us saying that he was not only going to kill me but my brothers, sister and mom. Not even a week later I received a horrifying voicemail of 6 gunshots. He has also choked, slapped, and hit and verbally abused my mother repeatedly throughout their. marriage. He also has lost it on us kids more than a number of time physically and verbally. Also he has made sexual comments to me over the year about my boobs look bigger and so forth and over the year many of my friends could not hang out with me because of my father. The day my father officially moved out of the Ireland place home was not only a day of peace and happiness but safety in the household…Letters from Rucki Sisters April 2013

Sandra has continued to be the punching bag for her abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, even after she fled the marriage by agreeing to divorce in 2011. – Rucki conspired with “Korrupt Knutson” to batter, and destroy, Sandra by using the legal system in the same way that he once used his fist to beat her into submission.

As a result of family court proceedings, Sandra was court ordered by Judge Knutson into a “lifetime of servitude,” stripped of her children and custodial rights, her home, her employment, and her freedom— she is now homeless and destitute, hunted and harassed by ex-husband, David Rucki, who has promised to “see her dead.”

Tour stops in the Dakota County Judicial Center, important to the Grazzini-Rucki case, include: Self Guided Tours: Dakota County Open Courthouse

The public is invited take self-guided tours of the Dakota County Judicial Center, with stops including courtrooms and other areas of interest, and the chance to hear from a local district court judge or other justice system officials.

Jury Assembly Room/Jury room This room is the notorious site where jury tampering occurred in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal case (July 2016). Jury tampering is a factor that contributed to Sandra being found guilty, by tainting the jury with prejudicial information before the trial began.

During jury selection, nearly all of the 60 members of the jury pool admitted they had heard or read about the Grazzini-Rucki case; meaning the jury had been influenced even before the trial began. In criminal cases that receive a lot of publicity it is common to hold the trial in another jurisdiction – that didn’t happen here because Dakota County waged a vendetta against Sandra, and probably won’t give up punishing her until she is dead.

In another instance of jury tampering, an article from the Star Tribune regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case was found in the jury room. It should be noted that the article was written by a blogger who has a close relationship with David Rucki, and has expressed admiration of Judge David Knutson. The blogger was contracted at the Star Tribune to cover the Grazzini-Rucki case as part of an “experiment” that went massively awry when the paper was used to promote propaganda and false and misleading information about the Grazzini-Rucki case; articles specifically do not mention or include documentation of abuse or Rucki’s lengthy history of violence. So what the jurors saw was a news article written as a hit piece against Sandra, who was vilified, and unable to defend herself against the impressions formed in the jurors minds outside the courtroom.

In another instance of jury tampering, one juror admitted to being at a party with Rucki’s relative, and Judge Asphaug refused to have this person disqualified after they promised to remain neutral.

If that were not bad enough, two bloggers covering the trial approached the jurors and asked them to speak about the case. Due to the severity of the allegations, Judge Karen Asphaug stopped the trial in the middle of proceedings, left the bench and went into the jury room to assess the damage. Inappropriate contact with a juror is grounds for a mistrial; despite this, Judge Asphaug continued with trial, once again making excuses for a jury that could not possibly remain neutral after being pressured and influenced before trial began.

Book and ReleaseSandra Grazzini-Rucki was held in Book and Release several times during the course of her criminal trial. If walls could talk, the walls of the book and release room would drip with anguished tears.

Sandra found herself in the Book and Release room not as a criminal but as mother who fought to protect her children from abuse, risking her own life and freedom to do so.

In her former life, Sandra was a stay at home mom who lavished her time, energy and love on her five children. She worked as a flight attendant and had a spotless 30+ year history of impeccable service, and was loved by crew and guests alike. After surviving an abusive marriage that nearly cost her life,  Sandra looked forward a fresh start…hope for the future was short-lived because ex-husband, David Rucki, would escalate his attacks against her in a new arena: family court, where he is assisted by a powerful and korrupt judge, David L.  Knutson.

The result of 6 years of continued legal abuse, and humiliation in family court, is that Sandra is destitute and homeless. She has survived stalking and death threats from Rucki (and people on his behalf) but the nature of the court orders have left her barely surviving. By order of Judge Knutson, her home, all her belongings, and even pictures of her children have been taken. David Rucki has been awarded 100% of the marital property including 4 homes and all the contents within, 9 classic cards and has dumped huge amounts of personal debt onto Sandra. Rucki is also granted nearly $1,000 a month in child support, and motioning the court for Sandra to pay thousands of dollars for legal fees, even though Sandra has not worked for almost two years and is unable to meet her own basic needs. With 6 felonies on her record, it is doubtful that Sandra will be able to return to work as a flight attendant – or be hired anywhere else. The State of Minnesota once extended assistance to Sandra but since has terminated benefits. Now she has no means to pay for food or basic necessities that most take for granted. Rucki lives like a king, devising new ways to torment poor Sandra.

Sandra was forced to witness continued abuse inflicted on her children then was jailed for trying to protect them when they were forced to go on the run to protect their own lives. She was confined in the Book and Release Room, hands in cuffs, while the real criminals – David Rucki and Judge Knutson – go free.

Courtroom 1F: Mock Jury Selection Demonstrations – Courtroom 1F is where Judge David L. Knutson presided over the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial (September 11-12, 2013).

It is here that Sandra lost custody of her five, precious children and would forever be banned from having any contact with them. Dangerous abuser David Rucki is awarded sole custody, despite for being on probation for violating a protective order against Sandra. At the time of the custody order, two of the Rucki children are missing – they ran away in fear for their lives due to their father’s abuse and Judge Knutson’s failure to protect them.

Courtroom 1F is also where lawyer Michelle MacDonald was forced to represent Sandra Grazzini-Rucki while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair and without her files and notes, pen/paper, glasses, shoes, and even without her client – and without ever being charged or booked. (Sandra, and several court witnesses, left the courtroom that day after Judge Knutson told them that trial was over and that MacDonald was being arrested.) Judge Knutson took these outrageous actions as retaliation against MacDonald because she had filed a federal lawsuit against him, on behalf of Sandra, and asked that he recuse himself from the trial. Lawsuit: Female Attorney Strapped to Wheelchair in Court

Judge Knutson continues to retaliate against Michelle MacDonald and has actually filed a complaint against her law license, stating she failed to properly represent Sandra in the custody trial – after he alone made it impossible for Sandra to obtain a fair trial.

Judge Knutson avoids any responsibility for his unethical, and illegal actions, by hiding behind judicial immunity like a coward. Judge Knutson now sits on the Board on Judicial Standards, which oversees complaints against judges. Judge Knutson’s role on the Board has greatly contributed to the public trust in the judiciary eroding to an all time law… the people of Minnesota do not respect judges anymore – they fear them.

While the Dakota County Judicial Center celebrates Constitution Day, the public is unaware that they are celebrating at the very alter, the judge’s bench in courtroom 1F, where the gavel has slammed against the Constitution, shattering it rendering it void.. as if our very Constitution were made of glass, and could be easily discarded.

Judge Karen J Asphaug

Courtroom 1DScene of “Rigged Trial” – It is here the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial was conducted under the jurisdiction of Judge Karen Asphaug (July 25-28, 2016).

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is found guilty on 6 counts of deprivation of parental rights after Judge Karen Asphaug disallowed the majority of evidence supporting the affirmative defense she raised.

Sandra raisde the affirmative defense in her criminal trial, meaning she admitted to assisting her daughters because feared for their safety. If the jury found enough evidence to support the affirmative defense, Sandra could be exonerated. Sandra’s defense depended on proving why she feared for the safety of her daughters. Judge Asphaug suppressed 75% of defense evidence during the criminal trial including: witness testimony, Rucki’s criminal history, CPS and social service records documenting the abuse of the Rucki children, evidence of stalking, protective orders Sandra took out against Rucki, and more..

Sandra is actively appealing the decision.

Holding CellThe Adult Holding Cell is where attorney Michelle MacDonald was detained, and she says “tortured” by order of Judge Knutson, during the Grazzini-Rucki custody trial (September 11-12, 2017). Judge Knutson ordered that MacDonald be detained because she took pictures in the courtroom when it was not in session. The popular story is that MacDonald got in trouble for taking pictures of Deputy Timothy Gonder. Just do a social media search and you will see that pictures are routinely taken in the Dakota County Judicial Center, and no one else is punished in the way MacDonald was. The truth is that the pictures were taken of the court docket to document irregularities in the scheduling of the case. MacDonald was documenting, in pictures, the illegal actions of Judge Knutson and, to him,  had to be stopped.

After the trial (which was not a trial in any sense of the word!), attorney Michelle MacDonald was not allowed to leave court but, instead, was unlawfully detained for through the night and into the next day. MacDonald was held for more than 24 hours without being booked, charged, or allowed bail, bond, or to make a phone call. She was never read her Miranda rights.

Interesting enough, Judge Michael Mayer, who presided over the juvenile trial of the runaway Rucki girls, made a personal appearance to the detention center to witness MacDonald’s humiliation, and tears. With a snide laugh he taunted her by saying, “Having a rough day?”

Also present was Deputy Timothy Gonder, the personal thug of Judge Knutson. Deputy Gonder manhandled Michelle MacDonald and meted out punishment by unofficial judicial order. Gonder would also make an appearance when Sandra was injured while being held in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility during criminal proceedings, and would be the subject of a PREA complaint after he took inappropriate pictures while she was handcuffed to a bed, and made special efforts to humiliate her.

MacDonald later filed a lawsuit, claiming the sheriff’s office engaged in seven of the internationally recognized forms of torture: sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, solitary confinement/isolation, temperature extremes, sensory bombardment and psychological techniques.

The lawsuit describes the cruelty inflicted on MacDonald – deputies turned the temperature of the room down to freezing and kept the bright lights on all night to keep her awake. MacDonald took the toilet paper and wrapped it around her head and body and feet to keep in an vain effort to keep warm. The guard came in and ripped it off her, saying she was not using it properly. Pictures were taken of MacDonald in her cell in an effort to humiliate her. Guards made comments about prisoner suicide as a way to intimidate her. All of this MacDonald suffered because she bravely defended Sandra, and her Constitutional rights, in Judge Knutson’s lawless court, room 1F.

Michelle MacDonald was eventually released, no charges were ever brought against her related to this incident. Judge Leslie Metzen ultimately determined that Michelle MacDonald’s civil rights had been violated by the illegal search and seizure of the camera.

 Courtroom 1B: Interactive Television (ITV) Demonstration and Judge Chamber 109

The Judge’s Chamber should be called the Torture Chamber for what was done to the Rucki children in the Dakota County Judicial Center.

In February 2013, the Rucki children were summoned to the chambers of Judge David Knutson. The Rucki children not only disclosed abuse to Judge Knutson but clearly stated their preference to live with mother, Sandra, where they felt safe and loved. Enraged, Judge Knutson ordered that the proceedings be sealed.

That same day, David Rucki had a pending case in criminal court for violating a no-contact order that prohibited him from contacting the children. Judge Knutson made special efforts to have all criminal charges against Rucki dismissed, which did happen.

Even after hearing serious allegations of abuse from the Rucki children, and with knowledge that Rucki violated a no-contact order, Judge Knutson ordered that very same day the children be forced to a visit their father. Dr. James Gilbertson, therapist, recommended the children be held in a room and an armed bailiff be used as a show of force in order to get the children to comply. Court records reveal the older children – specifically S.R. and G.R. were viewed as a problem. The “problem” being that they raised abuse allegations and were vocal in objecting to forced visits with Rucki (i.e they didn’t go along with “the programming”).

Another tactic used on the Rucki children, at the recommendation of Dr. Gilbertson, is that the older children were separated from the younger children. This was done so the younger children would have no protection and no advocate, and could be psychologically broken down more easily, and thus, easier to control.

At other times, court records reveal, the Rucki children were brought to the courthouse by order of Judge Knutson, where they were held for hours, in a room without food or drink, without toys, and without comfort of any kind. An armed bailiff was posted at the door to prevent escape. The records reveal the children were extremely anxious and upset to be brought to the court, which would be understandable considering what the children had to endure.

On one occasion, Dr. Gilbertson recommended the children be forced to sit in during proceedings and watch what happened as David Rucki raised false, and outrageous allegations against Sandra, who was then punished by Judge Knutson – who always ruled in Rucki’s favor. The children were sent a clear message that their mother, and protector, could no longer protect them.. that their father held all the power.

Other times, the Rucki children were detained in the courthouse and then forced, against their wishes, to visit with their father, Rucki. There are allegations that Rucki would intimidate the children during visits, give them the middle finger, that he was angry and made veiled threats. Even Dr. Gilbertson records in his notes that the children were visibly afraid of Rucki. Yet “reunification therapy” continued… it is no wonder that the children attempted to run away after their cries for help were ignored, and they were subject to further abuse.

In-Custody CourtroomMoney is the root of all evil.. the In-Custody Courtroom is where Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was brought for a bail hearing on November 6, 2015 and a $1 million dollar bail was issued for a defendant with no prior criminal history, and for a non-violent crime.. Sandra’s bail was much, much higher than most serious offenders.

Is at coincidence judge assigned to do bails that was none other than Judge Knutson?!? However, since Judge Knutson was busy with other tasks that day, the stand-in judge stepped in on his behalf and blindly ordered the astronomical amount of bail without a second thought.

The situation is even more unusual because Sandra was removed from the in-custody courtroom and taken, through a back hall, into a room hidden from public view, where bail was issued.

On February 24th, Sandra was released on her own recognizance. Outside of these trumped up charges, she remains law abiding and poses no threat to anyone.. other than the corruption in Dakota County that does not want to be exposed.

Banner – Source – http://www.mncourts.gov

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Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

Public Domain: https://www.pexels.com

And for anyone who would dare press the complaints and issues beyond the initial “status quo guardians”, demonization, discrediting and economic retaliation are used to neutralize these voices of discontent and dissent…” ~ Don Mashak~ Political Google Site

Breaking News… Corrupt in Dakota County, Judge David L. Knutson retaliates against blogger and co-defendant in the Grazzini-Rucki case, Dede Evavold.

Judge Knutson issued a probation violation summons the very same day Evavold published an article Secrecy Is The Freedom Tyrants Dream Of criticizing the lack of transparency, and accountability in the judicial system.

The article mentioned Judge Knutson as an example, and included copies of a complaint previously raised against him. The article also suggested that Judge Knutson be removed from the bench or impeached.

Judge David Knutson — who has played role both in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial and the divorce of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki — issued a probation violation summons against Evavold for publishing articles on a blog called “Red Herring Alert”. The violation stems from a court order prohibiting Evavold to mention the name of the Grazzini-Rucki family in social media for the length of her probation, an estimated 8 years!

Red Herring Alert is a blog that includes contributions from many authors, and there is no evidence that Evavold actually created or published the content in question.

Dede Evavold is not a criminal – she is a wife and a mother, who as a hobby, enjoys writing about current events and political news.

Evavold’s life was turned upside down after being convicted of 6 felonies, and sentenced by Judge Karen Asphaug (November 10, 2016) for felony parental deprivation for her role in assisting two teens S.R. and G.R. who were desperate to escape an abusive father (and paternal aunt) and feared for their lives after the courts and police failed to protect them. S.R. and G.R. openly stated they would run away with or without help and remained in hiding for over 2 years. When given opportunities to return to the care of their father, David Rucki, both girls refused, due to safety concerns. Witnesses say the behavior and emotional state of both S.R. and G.R. is consistent with abuse: Multiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch

Judge David L Knutson

Judge Knutson ignored their cries for help of all five Rucki children and court ordered them into reunification therapy, and then the sole custody of, the identified abuser, father, David Rucki. At the time of the custody order, Rucki was on probation for a violation of a protective order, stemming from an incident involving ex-wife, Sandra. Sandra says she is being stalked, harassed and threatened by Rucki.

Judge Knutson made his ruling despite overwhelming evidence of Rucki’s propensity towards violence, and evidence supporting abuse of the children had occurred. For example, during a “telephonic conference” held on  September 7, 2012, Judge Knutson admitted that he was aware of allegations of sexual abuse involving the girls. Instead of protecting the children, Judge Knutson ordered their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home and worked to reunite the children with their abusive father. Just a few months later, the Rucki children personally met with Judge Knutson in chambers, and disclosed allegations of abuse. Immediately after disclosure, Judge Knutson ordered the Rucki children into visiting Rucki and placed a bailiff at the door to prevent their escape.  Judge Knutson then ordered that the conference with the children be sealed, in an apparent cover up.

Judge Knutson is involved in every aspect of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and acts outside the law in such an extreme way that it could be said that he is David Rucki’s hired thug. Judge Knutson was involved in criminal cases against David Rucki, giving preferential treatment. Judge Knutson was involved in both the the divorce and criminal trial. Judge Knutson assigned himself to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal case and gave her a million dollar bail in Novmber, 2015.  Judge Knutson is also connected to all of the judges appointed to every level of this case – including a connection to Judge Karen Asphaug, who is now presiding over the criminal trials of both Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold.

Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Dede Evavold has a constitutionally protected right to express her views, and should not be punished for the exercise of her 1st Amendment right to free speech. That Judge Knutson would take these actions against her, and be allowed to do so, shows just how corrupt the courts, and judicial system, in Dakota County really are. 

Beyond that, the public and people of Minnesota should also be expressing concern about the lawless and dangerous actions of Judge Knutson; who has court ordered five children into the care and custody of a dangerous abuser and destroyed the mother who sought to protect them.

That Dede Evavold is speaking out, despite enormous pressure against her to remain silent, and threats of jail, is courageous. To remain silent on this issue would mean complicity in the abuse of the Rucki children, and enable the destruction of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a loving, mother, who is being persecuted for her efforts to keep her children safe from harm after the family court system failed to protect them.

Hear more from Dede in her interview on Village Connection Radio: DEDE EVAVOLD, PAYING FOR BEING AN ACTIVIST FOR CHANGE

 

Read More About Judge David Knutson:

Commentary: Bailiffs Acting Like Judge Knutson’s Personal Thugs

Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?

2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

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 Red Herring Alert: We’re Not Crazy..The Systems Are!

From Red Herring Alert Blog: We’re Not Crazy. . .The Systems Are!

Dede Evavold (Linked In)

“The degree of insanity in the courts is something that is indescribable unless you have witnessed it for yourself. Small is big, left is right, slow is fast, up is down and weak is strong.

A term  has even been coined for individuals that experience psychic injuries due to assaults by legal abuses, ethical violations, betrayals, and fraud in the court system. It’s called “legal abuse syndrome” and was identified by Dr.Karen Huffer, a marriage and family counselor who was also brutally defrauded in the courts.

In my case State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Elise Evavold- Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227the court ordered that I complete a forensic psychological evaluation and cognitive skills assessment as I showed no remorse or comprehension” for my actions. The absence of remorse should never justify additional punishment because due process guarantees defendants the right to assert their innocence, and defendants cannot be expected to show remorse if they do not admit the crime.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.govhttps:

The goal was always to get me to plead guilty or be found guilty when I’m not!…Anyhow, I completed my court ordered evaluation and unfortunately for those that wanted me to be diagnosed with a mental illness, I passed!”

 

This article by Dede Evavold discusses corruption and abuses of power in Dakota County, as evidence by the injustices perpetrated in the Grazzini-Rucki case. Dede says,”As I’ve stated before, the overall goal is to break you down and get you to accept any injustice thrown at you. This was done through the use of perjured testimony,  illegal withholding and suppression of evidence to use in support of the affirmative defense, due process violations, witness tampering, abuse of discretion, judicial bias and malicious prosecution…“Against incredible odds, Dede remains strong and continues to expose the down and dirty in Dakota County.

NOTE: Dakota County’s misuse of psychological testing is not only a waste of tax payer dollars, but is a form of medical malpractice. Tests are court ordered under threat of jail and other punishment, then forcibly being performed on people with no prior history of mental health concerns, and who show no danger to themselves on society. The purpose of testing done in this manner is NOT to rehabilitate an offender or determine a risk to society but rather used as a way to manipulate litigants when the law does not support the agenda of court professionals (judges, prosecutors, probation officers etc) 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki have also passed her court ordered psychological exams, including the one taken for the criminal trial. NO sign of mental illness or mental defect was found.

In addition, as part of her job as a flight attendant, Sandra was required to take psychological tests and over the course of her 30+ year career, has passed every test and shown no cause for concern. Judge David Knutson who presided over the Grazzini-Rucki family court case refused to accept the testing done through the airlines and insisted Sandra complete additional testing; in all has completed and passed 6 separate tests, administered at different times from the beginning of the family court cases to the present.

Other examples of  retaliation and wrongful prosecuted are included in the “We’re Not Crazy.. Systems Are!” article include the story of whistle blower attorney Jill Clark and attorney Michelle MacDonald who was retaliated against exposing systemic corruption in the case of  client, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. In BOTH of these cases, those who go up against the system are labelled mentally ill or otherwise incapable in an effort to silence them.

Source: http://ww2.carshdwallpaper.info

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Nov 2015) Social Worker Recommended – Protective Care for Rucki Girls, Supervised Visits With Father Due to Safety Concerns

(Hasting, Dakota County, Minn): Court records reveal that a Dakota County social worker, believed abuse allegations raised by S.R. and G.R.  and fought to keep them in foster care in order to protect them from their father, David Rucki.

EPC Hearing Transcript Nov 30, 2015 (See page 23 for social worker’s recommendations)

During an Emergency Protective Care (EPC) hearing held on November 30, 2015, a Dakota County social worker recommended the Rucki sisters, S.R. and G.R., remain in protective care (for placement in foster care), and that “visitation between the parent and children would remain supervised, the extent and duration of which shall be determined by Social Services”. Parent meaning David Rucki, who petitioned the court that S.R. and G.R. be returned to his care.

The social worker made these recommendation after S.R. and G.R. (p.2-8) recounted allegations of abuse, and described fear of their father, David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki Social Services File, CPS Records

Reports from the social worker include the following statements shared by S.R. that her father is violent and that “home life was awful prior to the divorce“. Both sisters also reported that Rucki abused alcohol and was often drunk. 

Interviewed S.R. at the foster home on 11/23/2015. S.R. went through the family history with the worker. She was 12 when her parents divorced. Home life was awful prior to the divorce. They tip-toed around dad and he was physically abusive to her mom. Dad ripped off the leg of the organ and ran after her mom. She would have bruises here and there. Dad was rough with S.R. on occasion where he would grab her a few times and shook her. He was mostly emotionally abusive…He drank a lot and was often at bars. Once when they were not living with dad (and were living with mom) there was no more tip-toeing and no more yelling. S.R. said it felt good and she felt free in her own house.” S.R. also added that although people said she was being brain washed and needed de-programming, she never felt that way. S.R. said she would run away if returned to father (David Rucki’s) care.

G.R. shared with the social worker that Rucki took her to bars and threatened to kill the family,”She reports that dad was always screaming at mom. Neighbors called their home the ‘Scream House’. She thought the home situation was normal as she did not know any different. She never had a strong relationship with her dad. He would take her to the bar after dance or hockey. She states a big weight was lifted off her shoulders after the divorce. Mom would have bruises from dad, she would never see this occur but knew it had. She has seen him shove her. She feels her dad was mentally abusive, he was always yelling and ‘it took a toll on all of us’. She states they lived a dysfunctional life.”

G.R. also stated,”Her dad would stalk the house when they were with mom. He showed anger like, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ “ G.R. said she was not being influenced by her mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Just the opposite – she expressed feeling controlled by her father, and that she is afraid of him. G.R. also said that she will run if returned to father (David Rucki’s) care.

S.R. and G.R. told the social worker that they would not run if they were allowed to remain in foster care, and also agreed to attend school and to go to counseling.

The recommendations of the social worker were supported by both sisters, who were represented by an attorney. The attorney requested that the child protection case proceed, and that safety issues would exist if they were returned to the care of David Rucki. The attorney also argued that sending the sisters to a program out of state is not in the best interest of S.R. and G.R., because there is a risk that they could run away again. The attorney requested on behalf of S.R. and G.R. that they remain in foster care.

What teenager begs to be put in foster care? Clearly S.R. and G.R. were greatly afraid of Rucki. That they would go to such great lengths to be away from him demonstrates the panic and fear that lead them to run away on two separate occasions, going into hiding after running away for the second time on April 19, 2013.

David Rucki

David Rucki

It should be noted that the abuse allegations made by S.R. and G.R. have not changed in all the years of they have asked for help. The consistency of their statements shows they are credible, and not being influenced. In addition there are multiple sources of evidence that support their statements. For example, when G.R. says that her father was “stalking the house” those remarks are validated by an OFP and numerous police reports filed by mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Video surveillance has also documented the stalking, and recorded David Rucki’s shadowy form appearing at the home Sandra and the children lived in, night after night. In another police report filed in June 2011, Rucki chased S.R. and a group of friends down the street on her birthday. The terrified teenagers ran into a neighbor’s house in fear of their safety. Rucki chased the girls into the house, and was witnessed banging on the door and yelling. Police were called on that occasion and despite Sandra’s pleas to file charges for an OFP violation, police declined stating the children are not covered by the protective order. Even if that were true, Rucki had violated the OFP by coming within 350 feet of the home, and should have been charged.

In addition, David Rucki has a long criminal history that attests to his propensity towards violence. In fact, at the time of the November 2015 hearing, Rucki was on probation for a road rage incident where he followed then brutally beat a fellow motorist, punching him the face and mouth with such force that the victim was knocked to his knees. After pounding the motorist with his fists, Rucki walked away as if nothing had happened and went into a grocery store to do some shopping.  Some of Rucki’s criminal records can be viewed here: http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2016/05/david-ruckis-greatest-hits.html

Judge Michael Mayer, who presided over the EPC hearing, ignored the recommendations of the social worker, as well as the history of abuse. Judge Mayer also ignored the requests of the S.R. and G.R., who were represented by an attorney. Instead of getting the protection and care they so desperately needed, the sisters were shipped out of state to “reunification therapy” under the escort of a security guard. In “reunification therapy” S.R. and G.R. were forced to recant abuse allegations and made to accept being under the control of Rucki, as part of their “treatment”. Judge Mayer acknowledged that the S.R. and G.R. were “angry” with him and would not happy with his ruling. What Judge Mayer could not understand is that the sisters were not angry – they were in a desperate fight for their lives, and their future.

At every level, those who were responsible to ensure the well-being of the five Rucki children (police, court appointed reunification therapist, Guardian ad Litem, judges etc) not only failed to protect them but have created an environment that allows corruption, and judicial misconduct to thrive in Dakota County, setting a dangerous precedent should other courts follow this path of lawlessness.

 

TearsDakotaCounty

 

Note: The surveillance photos documenting the stalking, previous police reports and Rucki’s criminal history were suppressed by Judge Karen Asphaug in the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and not allowed to be submitted as evidence, or presented to the jury. Suppression of evidence made it impossible for Sandra to prove the affirmative defense she raised, and with no other choice, the jury found her guilty of 6 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights.

For more information on Sandra’s conviction, please read:  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki convicted of hiding daughters – The decision came after the judge disallowed the majority of defense evidence

 

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.

horrendousfamilycourt2

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