Category Analysis

Minnesota Lawyer: Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit ‘may lack factual basis’

The lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “may lack factual basis” according to an article published by Minnesota Lawyer.

Two of three key claims in lawyer Michelle MacDonald’s defamation lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and his muckraking website appear unfounded, Minnesota Lawyer has learned.

Meanwhile Brodkorb, who accuses MacDonald of trying to squelch his First Amendment rights as a journalist, asserts that a third allegation in her suit also is factually inaccurate. Minnesota Lawyer could not independently verify that.

The article by Minnesota Lawyer exposes fundamental weaknesses in MacDonald’s lawsuit, which has been described as “frivolous and vexatious” by Nathan Hansen, the attorney for Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald being investigated by lawyers board

Michelle MacDonald is being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations for the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility last week after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility confirmed today in a letter that an investigation had been started based on the complaint filed by Missing in Minnesota which alleges numerous violations by MacDonald.

The filing of the complaint is permitted by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, as Missing in Minnesota is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by MacDonald. Continue reading

Video shows MacDonald and Evavold partying at GOP State Convention

A recently uncovered video shows Michelle MacDonald partying with her then campaign chair and manager Dede Evavold at the 2014 Republican Party of Minnesota State Convention, during the time Evavold was actively concealing the whereabouts of two missing sisters.

At the time of this video, Evavold was working on MacDonald’s 2014 campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Last week, MacDonald filed again to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Evavold was convicted in September 2016 on six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

The girls’ mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, abducted her daughters during a divorce and custody dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

MacDonald served as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney and briefly represented her during her criminal trial.

In the video, Evavold is holding a half-empty glass of beer, and she tells MacDonald that they are campaigning on “truth.”

Evavold worked with MacDonald’s campaign for 540 of the 944 days the Rucki children were missing. Continue reading

Deja vu: Michelle MacDonald running again for Minnesota Supreme Court

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children, filed to run again for the Minnesota Supreme Court, despite being on supervised probation as an attorney.

MacDonald filed to run against Justice Margaret Chutich, who was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Supreme Court in March 2016.

She first attempted to file to run for the Minnesota Supreme Court under a new political party but was denied because judicial elections are nonpartisan.

Justice Margaret Chutich

MacDonald previously ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald’s law license was just “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court in March, subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

She remains on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law which could limit her ability to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court if elected.

The Associated Press reported that House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said “ugh” after MacDonald confirmed she was running for office again.

According to the most recent campaign finance reports, MacDonald had $31.70 in her campaign bank account and debts of $8,825.12.

Continue reading

Dede Evavold may have violated her probation again

Dede Evavold, who may have her probation revoked next month, may have violated her probation again by having contact with co-defendant Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

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 Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.

Evavold’s probation conditions specifically restrict contact with “Co-Defendant(s), Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Gina Dahlen and Douglas Dahlen.”

On May 10, 2018, the United States Supreme Court docketed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed on behalf of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki regarding the contested child support matter stemming from her divorce from David Rucki.

On the Supreme Court docket, Grazzini-Rucki appears as a pro se party. However, her address is listed as Evavold’s home in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Missing in Minnesota has redacted Evavold’s address from a screen capture of the public filing available on the website of the United State Supreme Court.

According to Stearns County Community Corrections, Grazzini-Rucki will be living at an address in Stearns County while she is on supervised probation.

An exact address for Grazzini-Rucki is not publicly available.

Grazzini-Rucki has no known relatives that live in Stearns County, but a small number of her remaining supporters live in the area, including Evavold.

By filing a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Grazzini-Rucki is requesting that the US Supreme Court review the decision of the lower court regarding her child support obligations.

Filed with the Petition for Writ is a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis in which Grazzini-Rucki claims again to be homeless, penniless and destitute – a claim which has since been refuted. Continue reading

Busted: Grazzini-Rucki reacts to being caught in lie about being homeless

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki becomes enraged during a jailhouse video call after she learns that she has been caught by Missing in Minnesota in a lie about being homeless.

In the 39-minute video recorded on April 9, 2018, while she was in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida, Grazzini-Rucki is informed by her friend Dennis Campbell that he just spoke with Missing in Minnesota and confirmed he met Grazzini-Rucki “on the beach” in Florida.

Grazzini-Rucki is visibility upset with Campbell’s admission, and she asks him what he said because “now we need to do damage control.”

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, 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.

Continue reading

UPDATE: Fake lawyer, fake cop threatens and harasses Missing in Minnesota

UPDATE (12:00 PM, Friday, May 3, 2018) – Kimberley and Jay Bukstein’s names are back on the public roster for ADR Rule 114 Qualified Neutrals with the Minnesota Supreme Court. Staff at the MN Supreme Court could not provide any information on the changes to their status. The story below has been updated.


UPDATE (4:30 PM, Thursday, May 3, 2018) – Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are no longer listed on a published roster of ADR Rule 114 Qualified Neutrals published by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The removal of the Buksteins from the published list was done in the last 24 hours. The story below has been updated.


TwitterSuspendsKimberleyBuksteinTargetedAbuse05022018SmallUPDATE (5:15 PM, Wednesday, May 2, 2018) – Twitter sent me an updated report about Kimberley Bukstein. According to Twitter, Mrs. Bukstein violated Twitter’s rules “against participating in targeted abuse.”


TwitterSuspendsKimberleyBukstein05012018SmallUPDATE (2:00 PM, Wednesday, May 2, 2018) – Twitter has suspended Kimberley Bukstein’s account for “participating in abusive behavior.” Mrs. Bukstein sent me 17 abusive messages in just two hours on Sunday morning.


UPDATE (3:30 PM, Sunday, April 29, 2018) – I received 17 message from Kimberley Bukstein via Twitter from 1:51 AM to 3:57 AM. This is why I was awakened in the night. Her husband Jay Bukstein “liked” many of the tweets. They have been told once again to cease all contact with me, my family, and Allison Mann.


UPDATE (6:00 PM, Thursday, April 26, 2018) – Jay Bukstein, Kimberley’s husband sent a harassing and threatening email in the last couple of days. Bukstein was instructed once again to stop contacting me. He then sent another threatening email. Troubling behavior by both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein.


UPDATE (10:40 AM, Tuesday, April 24, 2018) – Missing in Minnesota uncovered this morning that Kimberley Bukstein was criminally charged in North Carolina last year with making harassing phone calls. Bukstein’s criminal case is currently pending. Based on the number of phone calls I’ve received from Bukstein, I’m not surprised. Stay tuned for updates.


UPDATE (3:15 PM, Monday, April 23, 2018) – Kimberley Bukstein sent two emails late last night which provided her legal opinion (she is not a lawyer) that numerous posts on Missing in Minnesota violate the provisions of the user agreements on multiple platforms. Her emails were abusive, threatening, and harassing.

Two phone calls were also placed yesterday to a company which provided technical support for Missing in Minnesota. Bukstein made one call, Angela Young made the other call. Young threatened legal action in her voicemail message. Aside from threatening legal action, Young made numerous false statements in her voicemail message.


Kimberley Bukstein, a self-described “civil-rights advocate” who was disciplined for the unauthorized practice of law, has sent repeated threatening and harassing communications over the last few days in an attempt to shut down Missing in Minnesota.

Bukstein is connected with Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Michelle MacDonald, and Angela Young, and in one voicemail, Bukstein falsely claimed she as “a citizen officer” with the St. Paul Police Department.

During a phone call on the evening of April 19, 2018, Bukstein made threats about a pending lawsuit and said the website should be shut down. After the phone call ended Bukstein sent a text message again threatening litigation. In response, Bukstein was sent a text message informing her that St. Paul Police Department would be notified that she was impersonating a police officer. Bukstein was also instructed to cease making contact with Missing in Minnesota.

Bukstein ignored the instructions and sent six additional text messages and made three more phone calls. At 11:16 PM, Bukstein’s husband called and made threats during a brief phone conversation. He was also instructed not to make any further contact.

In the early hours of April 21, 2018, Bukstein again ignored our request to not make contact and called at 1:47 AM, leaving a threating voicemail which said, “Michael, the gloves are off…now there will be some justice here.” Less than an hour later, Bukstein sent a threatening email at 2:42 AM.

Yesterday, Bukstein again ignore instructions to not make contact when she made two phone calls. Bukstein left a signing voicemail message in the form of a limerick. Bukstein sings, “dear Michael is in so much trouble, oh sorry to burst your bubble. Such tweeting does he, well how can that be, is he lurking around seeing double.”

Bukstein made another phone call later in the day but did not leave a message. Via text message, Bukstein was again instructed not to make contact.

Law enforcement was later notified about the threatening and harassing communications from the Buksteins.

Both Jay and Kimberley Bukstein are “qualified Rule 114 ADR Neutrals” for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Over the last few days, Bukstein and Michelle MacDonald also made contact with the hosting company for our website in an attempt to have content removed from Missing in Minnesota.

Bukstein also sent an email which falsely claimed I had met her in person and accused me of being a “cyber rapist.”

In October 2017, an Harassment Restraining Order was granted against Bukstein by a 73-year-old woman in St. Paul. Bukstein was accused of making unwanted phone calls and leaving messages. The woman testified that Bukstein walked into her home unannounced and uninvited.  Continue reading

‘Homeless’ and ‘penniless’ Sandra Grazzini-Rucki signed a lease to live at Florida condominium

Despite repeated claims that she is “homeless” and “penniless”, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki signed a lease in March 2016 to live at a waterfront estate community in Clearwater, Florida, according to the owner of the condominium where she has been living.

Staff at the office which manages of the waterfront estate community also confirmed yesterday that Grazzini-Rucki was living in a condominium on the property and was seen by staff within the last month.

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

After a warrant was issued for her arrest on March 26, 2018, Grazzini-Rucki turned herself in at approximately 9:00 PM the following evening at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which is located just seven miles away from her home in Clearwater, Florida.

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

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

Over the last few days, Missing in Minnesota worked to provide additional evidence to refute claims made by Grazzini-Rucki and her attorneys and supporters that Grazzini-Rucki is homeless. Supporters of Grazzini-Rucki have gone so far as to claim that Grazzini-Rucki “relies on couch surfing” and eats “cold cans of Spaghetti-O’s in order to survive.”

In fact, yesterday morning while Missing in Minnesota was working to confirm additional details about Grazzini-Rucki’s lease for her condominium in Clearwater, Florida, a supporter of Grazzini-Rucki and self-described “investigative reporter” posted a blog story which falsely claimed she was “rendered homeless” and living “on the street” in Florida.

Michelle MacDonald claimed in an affidavit filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court last September that Grazzini-Rucki was “homeless.” MacDonald’s law license was suspended for 60 days in part for her misrepresenting facts while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

For nearly six years Grazzini-Rucki has falsely claimed she is homeless and destitute in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and the legal system.

In reality, Grazzini-Rucki had access to over $2 million from her family in the last eight years, and the total amount of her current net worth is unknown.

Grazzini-Rucki’s false claims of homelessness are part of a documented pattern of lies from Grazzini-Rucki, who admitted during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” in previous court hearings.

But as Grazzini-Rucki sits in jail in Clearwater, Florida, awaiting transport back to Minnesota, further confirmation that she has not been “homeless” could have serious ramifications when Grazzini-Rucki eventually appears again in a courtroom in Dakota County. Continue reading

O Canada: ‘Homeless’ and ‘penniless’ Grazzini-Rucki stashed money in Canadian trust company

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who claims she is “homeless” and “penniless”, had money deposited in a Canadian financial services corporation as recently as December 2017, according to information mistakenly included in a post on Dede Evavold’s blog.

The news of Grazzini-Rucki having financial assets in Canada comes weeks after the discovery that Grazzini-Rucki has been actually living in a waterfront estate community in Florida under an assumed name.

As previously noted on Missing in Minnesota, Grazzini-Rucki has falsely claimed she is homeless and destitute in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and the legal system for nearly six years.

In reality, Grazzini-Rucki had access to over $2 million from her family in the last eight years and the total amount of her current net worth is unknown.

The use of foreign banks to hide assets shows the depth of Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts to mask her true lifestyle.

Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in July 2016 of six felonies for her role in in the disappearance of her daughters. Dede Evavold, a friend of Grazzini-Rucki, was found guilty in September 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related her involvement in disappearance the girls.

Grazzini-Rucki’s false claims of being “homeless” and “penniless” are part of a documented pattern of lies from Grazzini-Rucki, who admitted during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” in previous court hearings.

Continue reading

Lisa Elliott named one of Minnesota Lawyer’s ‘Attorneys of the Year’

Lisa Elliott, who serves as David Rucki’s family court attorney was named one of Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorneys of the Year for 2017 at a ceremony last evening in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Lawyer “recognizes the best achievements in the Minnesota legal profession with the Attorneys of the Year awards.”

Elliott has continued to serve as David Rucki’s attorney since 2011, while Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has been represented by numerous other attorneys, including Michelle MacDonald.

In a story about Elliott, Minnesota Lawyer highlighted that “Elliott’s tenacity prevailed in what is considered the first significant case in Minnesota dealing with parental alienation.”

Elliott told Minnesota Lawyer, “I like helping people through some pretty tough stages in their lives and see them come out the other side.”

David Rucki praised Elliott’s work, “on behalf of myself and my family, I want to thank Lisa Elliott for being an amazing ally and advocate over the last seven years.”

“Lisa has gone above and beyond to fight for my children and me more times than I can count. Congratulations and thank you to Lisa and everyone at Elliott Law Office,” said David. Continue reading

Dede Evavold’s blog maliciously accuses David Rucki of murdering his children

Dede Evavold’s blog has published a malicious post claiming David Rucki murdered three of his children while married to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

This heinous and completely unfounded allegation comes at a time when Evavold is facing a criminal trial for her continued violations of an Harassment Restraining Order granted by a court in Dakota County to protect David Rucki and his family from her harassment.

Missing in Minnesota is not linking to the posts published on Evavold’s blog because of the incendiary tone of material and also due to her perpetual harassment of the Rucki family.

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

Michelle MacDonald’s law license officially suspended

Michelle MacDonald, a licensed attorney in Minnesota for 30 years and who twice ran for the Minnesota Supreme Court, is now officially suspended from the practice of law.

In an order issued two weeks ago by the Minnesota Supreme Court, MacDonald’s license has been suspended for a minimum of 60 days. MacDonald must complete a series of tasks prior to being eligible for reinstatement of her license to a probationary status for a period of two years.

Among the conditions placed on MacDonald if her license is reinstated will be a restriction on her ability to have a solo law practice.

MichelleMacDonaldSuspenedLawLicenseThe court will also require MacDonald to “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of, another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

Before being eligible for reinstatement, MacDonald must prove that she is prepared to cease solo practice.

In addition to working daily with a supervising attorney who must co-sign all court pleadings, MacDonald must also work with a probation supervisor appointed by the Board to assure her compliance with the terms of her probation.

In recent days, MacDonald’s law office in West St. Paul has become dark, unkempt, and ragged, without any signs of the active law practice MacDonald had years ago. Continue reading

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

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who claimed in a radio interview on Saturday that she is “homeless” is actually living in a waterfront estate community in Florida under an assumed name.

For nearly six years Grazzini-Rucki has falsely claimed she is homeless and destitute in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and the legal system.

In reality, Grazzini-Rucki had access to over $2 million from her family in the last eight years and the total amount of her current net worth is unknown.

Grazzini-Rucki’s false claims of homelessness are part of a documented pattern of lies from Grazzini-Rucki, who admitted during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” in previous court hearingsContinue reading

Dede Evavold ordered by court to remove threatening post targeting Rucki family

Dede Evavold has been ordered by a court in Dakota County to remove a threatening blog post which contained the private address of the Rucki family.

The order requiring Evavold to remove her threatening blog post was included in court documents signed by Judge Philip Kanning and filed today in Dakota County District Court.

Judge Kanning granted the request filed by Lisa Elliott on behalf of the Rucki family at a court hearing last month on the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted by a court in Dakota County last year.

At the hearing on December 13, 2017, Elliott said that Evavold’s post published the private address of the Rucki family on a platform with a “dangerous” audience. Evavold did not respond to Elliott’s claims in court, but Judge Kanning said he would grant the motion filed by Elliott.

The order from Judge Kanning also keeps the HRO filed against Evavold in full effect.

Court granted restraining order against Evavold

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, Evavold has repeatedly violated the explicit terms of her probation and the HRO by continuing to reference the Rucki family in her use of social media.

In July 2017, a court in Dakota County has found that “an immediate and present danger of harassment” by Dede Evavold exists to warrant the granting of an HRO requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Evavold.

The court further found that there are “reasonable grounds to believe that [Evavold] has harassed [David Rucki and Samantha Rucki] (or minor children included in the petition)…”

Specifically, the court found that Evavold “made threats” to David Rucki and Samantha Rucki, and that “the harassment has had or is intended to have a substantial adverse effect on [David Rucki and Samantha Rucki’s] safety, security, or privacy.”

Evavold is prohibited from having any “direct or indirect contact” with David Rucki, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, and two other minor Rucki children. Evavold is also prohibited from naming “any member of the Rucki family in any blog posting, social media posting, or internet posting.”

Below is the full order from Judge Kanning.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

Michelle MacDonald helped Dede Evavold in masking the extent of her role in the disappearance of Rucki sisters

Michelle MacDonald, who serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, helped Dede Evavold during a media interview in masking the extent of her full role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki based on a video published by Evavold.

In the video published by Evavold last week, MacDonald instructs Evavold on how to correctly answer a question from the producer with ABC’s “20/20” after Evavold mistakenly admitted a key element of her criminal involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters in an interview.

This video was recorded before Evavold was charged with four additional felonies, and before she was convicted of a total of six felonies for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Evavold served as MacDonald’s campaign chair and manager during MacDonald’s unsuccessful bid for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014.

MacDonald’s client, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The video provides further evidence of MacDonald’s direct involvement in the propaganda machinery of Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold. Continue reading