Date Archives March 2018

Michelle MacDonald’s law license ‘conditionally reinstated’

Michelle MacDonald’s law license has been “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court effective today subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

MacDonald will remain on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law.

MacDonald has until January 17, 2019, to provide verification that she has completed the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…” or she will be automatically re-suspended “pending proof of successful completion of the examination…”

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended last year that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.

The conditions of MacDonald’s two-year probation include that she will be supervised by an attorney appointed by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law,” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

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Michelle MacDonald’s law office in West St. Paul, Minnesota

The complaint filed against MacDonald focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa.

The complaint claimed MacDonald’s disorganization required the D’Costa trial to last longer than necessary, adding that MacDonald offered exhibits that “were a mess.”

MacDonald was arrested during a court hearing in September 2013 while serving as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

MacDonald’s direct responsibility for her conduct which led to her arrest was repeatedly mentioned in the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court. Continue reading

Grazzini-Rucki falsely claimed she was homeless when jailed in Florida

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki falsely told law enforcement at Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Clearwater, Florida that she was homeless despite living in a nearby waterfront estate community.

After a warrant was issued for her arrest Monday, Grazzini-Rucki turned herself in at approximately 9:00 PM on Tuesday evening at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which is located just seven miles away from her home in Clearwater, Florida

Picture source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Picture source: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

According to public court documents and staff at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Grazzini-Rucki claimed she was homeless when being booked into custody.

Grazzini-Rucki had her first appearance yesterday at 1:30 PM at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville. Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in custody in Florida

UPDATE (10:30 AM, Thursday, March 29, 2018) – According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Clearwater, Florida, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki remains in custody. Grazzini-Rucki will be transferred back to Minnesota, but there is no public information at this time as to when she will appear in Minnesota to be re-sentenced. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (8:44 AM, Wednesday, March 28, 2018) – According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Clearwater, Florida, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was booked into custody at 9:26 PM EST.

There is no information at this time as to when she will be transported back to Minnesota. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (5:52 AM, Wednesday, March 28, 2018) – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida, after a warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to appear at her re-sentencing hearing on Monday related to her 2016 conviction on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

According to the jail roster, Grazzini-Rucki was booked into the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida late last evening.

No other information is available at this time as to how Grazzini-Rucki was apprehended by law enforcement in Florida.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

‘Homeless’ Sandra Grazzini-Rucki using an alias and living in waterfront estate community in Florida

SandraGrazziniRuckiJackAuldIn January, Missing in Minnesota published information based on public records which showed that a person named “Jaclyn Auld” with the same birthday as Grazzini-Rucki was residing with Jack Auld in Clearwater, Florida.

Grazzini-Rucki’s address was also recently updated in the public court file to Auld’s Florida home after court documents sent to Grazzini-Rucki’s previous mailing address were returned to the court by the United States Postal Service (USPS) with Grazzini-Rucki’s new Florida address.

Grazzini-Rucki had been using the residential address of her family court attorney Michelle MacDonald as her mailing address. Based on records with the USPS, the mail forwarding service expired on December 14, 2017.

Auld was with Grazzini-Rucki at the Star Island Resort and Club in Kissimmee, Florida on October 18, 2015, when she was located by the United States Marshals Service a month before Samantha and Gianna Rucki were found.

Mr. Auld had reportedly cooperated with law enforcement and helped lead them to Grazzini-Rucki.

Auld has described Grazzini-Rucki as his “best friend” and “soul mate.”

Follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on Grazzini-Rucki’s next court appearance in Minnesota.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

UPDATE: Arrest warrant issued for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

UPDATE (5:52 AM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida.

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UPDATE (8:00 PM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – A search of public jail rosters shows Sandra Grazzini-Rucki remains at large.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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UPDATE (10:00 AM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – According to law enforcement sources, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki remains at large.

During her criminal trial, it was disclosed that Grazzini-Rucki had a driver’s license in three different states  – Connecticut, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Grazzini-Rucki was also recently connected to an address in Florida.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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(11:45 AM, Monday, March 26, 2018)  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki after she failed to appear at her re-sentencing hearing this morning related to her 2016 conviction on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

At approximately 9:30 AM – 30 minutes after the re-sentencing hearing was to start at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota – Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena requested that a warrant be issued for Grazzini-Rucki’s arrest for failing to appear in court.

Judge Karen Asphaug granted Keena’s request, and an arrest warrant was later issued for Grazzini-Rucki. Judge Asphaug also said in court today that Grazzini-Rucki had not completed her required 12 days of Sentencing of Service, which she is required to complete every year she is on probation.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. Last March, Grazzini-Rucki announced that she and others would be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children.

After Grazzini-Rucki failed to report to jail last November, we published a detailed post explaining why Grazzini-Rucki not being in jail should scare you.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to be re-sentenced tomorrow

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki will be re-sentenced tomorrow after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Grazzini-Rucki could execute the remainder of her criminal sentence.

She later appealed her criminal conviction to the Minnesota Supreme Court, but the court rejected her petition.

Grazzini-Rucki will appear in court tomorrow at 9:00 AM at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found. They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. Last March, Grazzini-Rucki announced that she and others would be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children. Continue reading

Dede Evavold released from jail…for now

Dede Evavold walked out of the Dakota County Jail this evening after Judge Kathleen Gearin permitted Evavold to be released from jail to remove the remaining online material about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family published by Evavold which violates an Harassment Restraining Order.

Evavold has been in jail since Sunday after being arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Judge Gearin gave Evavold until Monday, March 26, 2018, at 4:30 PM to remove the remaining content or she is ordered to report to jail in Dakota County by 9 AM on March 27.

During today’s court hearing Lisa Elliott, the attorney for the Rucki family, agreed with comments made by Dede Evavold’s husband Darin that most of the content had been removed, but a small amount remains posted.

Darin Evavold brought Dede’s laptop computer to today’s court hearing, as he did for yesterday’s court hearing for his wife.

At the court hearing, Darin worked with Allison Mann, a paralegal from Elliott Law Offices to remove the additional content.

“We just want Ms. Evavold to stop harassing the [Rucki family],” said Elliott during today’s hearing.

Dede Evavold was present in the courtroom and she did not object while Darin worked with Mann to identify content that needed to be removed.

All parties agreed that Darin and Dede Evavold would stay in communication with Elliott’s office over the coming days to ensure Dede is in full compliance with the court’s order before Monday’s deadline.

Over the last two days, Darin Evavold has appeared visibly frustrated in court as he worked to remove the vast amount of online content published by his wife which landed her in jail.

This is why Elliott and Mann assisted Darin Evavold in removing the content, explained Mann.

“I have been monitoring the removal of content from Ms. Evavold’s blog and other social media accounts over the last two weeks,” said Allison Mann.

“At the start of today’s hearing, some of the content remained available online,” said Mann, who added, “Darin Evavold came to court today with his wife’s laptop so that he could delete anything that was left.”

Mann concluded, “our main goal has been and continues to be to stop the harassment of the Rucki family.” Continue reading

Court orders Dede Evavold to remain in jail overnight

Dede Evavold will be held in jail overnight until a court hearing tomorrow after a judge in Dakota County declined to release Evavold after she appeared in court this morning for her first hearing after being arrested on Sunday on an outstanding warrant.

The warrant was issued after Evavold ignored a previous court order issued by Judge Kathleen Gearin which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

During the brief bail hearing at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Evavold argued with Judge Christopher J. Lehmann, demanding that she be released on her own recognizance.

DarinEvavoldDakotaCounty03202018CropSmallerJust after 10:15 AM, Dede’s husband Darin Evavold, arrived at the courthouse with a laptop and went into the courtroom.

During the hearing, with his wife behind security glass, Darin stood up and frantically waved the laptop in an attempt to show they were working to comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

Darin Evavold admitted that Dede has not yet fully complied with Judge Gearin’s order, which was issued on March 1, 2018.

Both Dede and Darin Evavold were visibly angry at the conclusion of the court hearing.

Darin Evavold later left the courthouse with the laptop and yelled across the parking lot while he was photographed by media walking to his car.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.

Since her release from jail in January 2017, Evavold has repeatedly ignored the conditions of her probation and court orders by making repeated references to the Rucki family in her use of social media.

Continue reading

UPDATE: Dede Evavold arrested in St. Cloud

DedeEvavoldStearnsCounty03182018UPDATE (8:00 AM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) – Dede Evavold has been booked into the Stearns County Jail.

A review this morning of Evavold’s blog and social media postings shows Evavold has still not fully complied with Judge Kathleen Gearin’s order.

Follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for the latest developments on Evavold’s arrest and her next appearance in court.

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(5:30 PM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) – Dede Evavold was arrested this afternoon at her home in St. Cloud, Minnesota on an outstanding warrant that was issued last week for contempt of court.

The warrant was issued last Wednesday after Evavold ignored a previous court order which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.

Since her release from jail last January, Evavold has repeatedly ignored the conditions of her probation by making repeated references to the Rucki family in her use of social media.

Evavold is being held at the Stearns County Jail without bail until she is transferred to Dakota County for a court hearing in the next few days.  Continue reading

Warrant issued for the arrest of Dede Evavold

DedeEvavoldStearnsCounty03182018UPDATE (5:30 PM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) Dede Evavold was arrested at her home within the last hour on an outstanding warrant. This is a developing story, so stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (7:45 AM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) – A search of jail rosters from overnight shows that Dede Evavold remains at large. If you have information about the location of Evavold, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (6:00 PM, Saturday, March 17, 2018) – Over 72 hours after the warrant was issued for the arrest of Dede Evavold, she remains at large. If you have information about the location of Evavold, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (8:00 AM, Saturday, March 17, 2018) – A search of jail rosters from overnight shows that Dede Evavold remains at large. She was required to report to jail in Dakota County on March 9, 2018. Over a week later, her whereabouts are unknown. Evavold is from St. Cloud, but she may be traveling.

If you have information about the location of Evavold, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (4:00 PM, Friday, March 16, 2018) – Dede Evavold remains at large. We will be updating this story over the weekend or until Evavold is custody, so please check back for updates.

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UPDATE (12:00 PM, Friday, March 16, 2018) – Approximately 48 hours after the warrant was issued for the arrest of Dede Evavold, she remains at large. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (8:00 AM, Friday, March 16, 2018) – Based on a search of public court documents and jail rosters, Dede Evavold remains at large.  If you have information about the location of Evavold, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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UPDATE (8:00 PM, Thurday, March 15, 2018) – Over 30 hours after a warrant was issued for the arrest of Dede Evavold, she remains at large. Stay tuned for updates.

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UPDATE (1:00 PM, Thurday, March 15, 2018) – According to law enforcement sources, Dede Evavold remains at large. Evavold is from St. Cloud, but she may be traveling. If you have information about the location of Evavold, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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(2:15 PM, Wednesday, March 14, 2018) – A warrant was issued today for the arrest of Dede Evavold after she ignored a previous court order which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.

Since her release from jail last January, Evavold has repeatedly ignored the conditions of her probation by making repeated references to the Rucki family in her use of social media. Continue reading

Court orders arrest warrant be issued for Dede Evavold

A judge in Dakota County has ordered that a warrant be issued “immediately” for the arrest and detention  of Dede Evavold after she ignored a previous court order from March 1, 2018, which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered Evavold to remove the content by 9:00 AM on March 9, 2018, or report to jail in Dakota County.

As of 9:00 AM on March 9, Evavold had not removed the content, nor had she reported to jail in Dakota County, as ordered by Judge Kathleen Gearin.

Not only did Evavold ignore a court order to “remove ALL” posts about the Rucki family from her blog and social media accounts, but she also published new material on March 9.

After Evavold missed the 9:00 AM deadline detailed in Judge Gearin’s order, the attorney for the Rucki family, Lisa Elliott, filed an Affidavit of Non-Compliance with the court because Evavold did not comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

Elliott also requested that a warrant be immediately issued for Evavold’s arrest for failure to comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

Judge Gearin signed the order that an arrest warrant be issued for Evavold yesterday afternoon.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding. Continue reading

Dede Evavold ignores court order to remove all posts about Rucki family, fails to report to jail

Dede Evavold ignored a court order issued by Judge Kathleen Gearin in Dakota County last week which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order by 9:00 AM today, or report to jail in Dakota County.

DakotaCountyLawEnforcementCenterSmallAs of 9:00 AM, Evavold had not removed the content, nor had she reported to jail in Dakota County.

After Evavold missed the 9:00 AM deadline detailed in Judge Gearin’s order, the attorney for the Rucki family, Lisa Elliott, filed an Affidavit of Non-Compliance with the court because Evavold did not comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

Elliott also requested that a warrant be immediately issued for Evavold’s arrest for failure to comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

As of 3:30 PM, Evavold’s blog, and social media accounts are still filled with posts and content about the Rucki family.

The request for an arrest warrant for Evavold had not been signed by the court.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding. Continue reading

Dede Evavold ordered to remove all posts about Rucki family, or go to jail

A judge in Dakota County ordered Dede Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violate an Harassment Restraining Order granted by a court in Dakota County in the next eight days or she will go to jail for 30 days.

On Tuesday, Judge Kathleen Gearin found Evavold was in constructive civil contempt of court at an emergency hearing held at Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home on Lakeville by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.

The emergency court hearing was scheduled after Lisa Elliott, who serves as the attorney for the Rucki family, filed an emergency motion with the court earlier this month which included over 200 pages of exhibits documenting Evavold’s repeated violations of an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO).

Elliott’s exhibits documented nearly 20 posts published on Evavold’s blog which violated the HRO since the last court hearing on December 13, 2017. At the court hearing, Evavold was reminded by Judge Philip Kanning that the HRO granted by Judge Karen Asphaug in July remains in effect.

In a court order released this afternoon, Judge Gearin went further than the posts identified by Elliott by ordering Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings that refer to the Rucki family as named in the Harassment Restraining Order…”

If Evavold does not remove the posts by March 9, 2018, at 9:00 AM she will go to jail for 30 days. Continue reading