Category Legal Developments

MN Supreme Court referee: ‘indefinitely’ suspend MacDonald’s lawyer

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court has recommended that Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, should be “indefinitely suspended” from the practice of law.

The recommendation by Judge Richard C. Perkins comes after a two-day hearing was held in July about a petition filed last December with the Minnesota Supreme Court by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

In the petition, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility requested a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. The petition claimed Adams Powell made false statements to the court, and others, including staff with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, that she engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, that she failed to provide receipts for cash payments, and that she failed to “safeguard client funds.”

According to today’s court filing, this is the fourth disciplinary proceeding for “professional misconduct” involving Adams Powell.

Judge Perkins was blunt in describing Adams Powell’s lack of candor: “[w]hile a misstatement made only once may be a mistake, being stated in writing twice and the again under oath at a deposition demonstrates a disregard for the truth.”

In the final pages, Judge Perkins wrote that Adams Powell “refused to acknowledge her misconduct, exhibited no remorse for her misconduct, and failed to offer any evidence or assurance that she will not engage in similar future misconduct.” Judge Perkin’s added that “[i]n a case about candor to a court … [Adams Powell] displayed a lack of candor with this court during her own testimony.” Continue reading

Court grants 50-year restraining order against Dede Evavold

A judge in Dakota County granted a 50-year extension on the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold. The extension was granted at a hearing this morning at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

The HRO against Evavold remains in effect until September 9, 2069.

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 in Lakeville, Minnesota by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding. Continue reading

Bukstein pleads guilty to violating restraining order

Kimberley Bukstein pleaded guilty yesterday in court to violating an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb.

Brodkorb was granted separate HROs against Kimberley and her husband Jay Bukstein in March after they relentlessly harassed Brodkorb for the past year. Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald.

The Buksteins are referenced in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

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

Kimberley Bukstein was charged on May 30, 2019, with a misdemeanor for violating the HRO filed by Brodkorb. In a brief court appearance yesterday at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Bukstein pleaded guilty and was given one year of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $130. Bukstein was also 0rdered to have no contact with Brodkorb and remain law-abiding. Continue reading

Evavold appears in court on restraining order violation

Dede Evavold was arranged in court today on one criminal charge of violating an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb. Evavold was charged in May after she attempted to contact Michael Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.

During a hearing this morning at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Evavold did not enter a plea and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for October 31, 2019. Evavold was not represented by an attorney at today’s hearing.

Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online. Continue reading

MacDonald announces plans to run for office in 2020

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children and is currently under investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, announced today – in a lawsuit – that she “plans to run for office in 2020 and in the future.”

The news about MacDonald’s intention to seek public office in 2020 was buried in a 379-page lawsuit by MacDonald and other Minnesota Republicans challenging the constitutionality of a Minnesota law regarding endorsements for public office.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. One week after losing her third campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court, MacDonald refused to rule out the possibility of running again in 2020 Continue reading

Yearlong investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The yearlong investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys continues according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened last year after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in response to MacDonald filing a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appeared 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 lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed in March by a judge in Ramsey County. MacDonald is appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

UPDATE: Grazzini-Rucki tried to stop college payments for her children

UPDATE (2:45 PM, Monday, July 8, 2019) – In a radio interview earlier today, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki denied she attempted to block her children from paying for their college education. Despite sending a letter to the courts requesting they “immediately stop” any payments from the trust for her children’s college expenses, Grazzini-Rucki said today “I was not blocking, I was only asking to be involved and know what was going on.”

Grazzini-Rucki also expressed frustrating that her letter to the court was made public. Continue reading

Court: Grazzini-Rucki is ‘voluntarily unemployed’ and can pay child support

The Minnesota Court of Appeals released an opinion this week affirming previous court orders which determined that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is “voluntarily unemployed” and she can pay $215 per month to support her minor children. Grazzini-Rucki had appealed multiple court orders from 2018 involving the divorce proceedings with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in 2016 on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters – Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki hasn’t made any child support payments since 2015 to support her other minor children.

The opinion released Monday from the Minnesota Court of Appeals highlighted what other courts have documented: Grazzini-Rucki doesn’t follow court orders, she “wrongfully disseminating [David Rucki’s] financial information,” and she committed “fraud” in other court proceedings.

Continue reading

Jay Bukstein appears in court on restraining order violation

Jay Bukstein was arranged in court today on one criminal charge of violating an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against him in Dakota County by Michael BrodkorbBukstein violated the conditions of the HRO less than 90 minutes after a judge in Dakota County upheld the HRO filed by Brodkorb against Jay Bukstein.

During a hearing this morning at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota, Bukstein did not enter a plea and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for September 10, 2019.

Brodkorb was granted HROs against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein in March after they harassed Brodkorb for the past year. Jay Bukstein was criminally charged in April for violating the HRO.

Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have been supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald. Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Buksteins are referenced in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

In an unrelated criminal case, Dede Evavold was criminally charged last week with violating a separate HRO granted to protect Brodkorb and his family from Evavold’s harassment. According to public court documents filed in Dakota County, Evavold is scheduled to be arraigned in court on July 30, 2019.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the legal developments.

Criminal charge filed against Dede Evavold for violating restraining order

Dede Evavold has been criminally charged for violating an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb and his family.

Evavold was charged last week after she attempted to contact Michael Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.

Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.

Michael and Sarah Brodkorb filed the HROs in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Evavold, who lives in St. Cloud.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.

The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists. Continue reading

Another restraining order granted against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein

A judge in Washington County granted an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) against two supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald for harassing an attorney for Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota.

Nathan Hansen filed for HRO against Kimberley Bukstein and her husband, Jay Bukstein, who reside together in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hansen has served as Brodkorb’s attorney regarding numerous HROs, including two filed against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein.

Kimberley Bukstein is a self-described “civil-rights advocate” who was fined $10,000 for the unauthorized practice of law in Ohio in 2013. Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Buksteins are referenced in the award-winning true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

According to court documents, the Buksteins “excessively” contacted Hansen before and after Brodkorb was granted separate HROs against the Buksteins last month.

Respondents, Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have both excessively called my office both before the filing of Harassment Restraining Orders against them by my client, and since the time the Orders were granted. Phone calls have come at the rate of five per night at times. Respondent Kimberley Bukstein, on one occasion, began a flurry of voice messages by stating that she and her husband, Jay Bukstein, would be leaving a series of messages overnight. All of the messages from both Jay and Kimberley Bukstein are unnecessary, unwanted and harassing. These messages are not relevant to the case in which my client obtained Harassment Restraining Orders against Respondents. The cases regarding the Harassment Restraining Orders are now closed and have been since the Orders were granted one month ago.

Respondents began this pattern of harassment with emails. When I specifically instructed them to stop contacting me and blocked their emails, they not only persisted, but ramped up their contacts. Because I blocked their emails, I now receive multiple faxes at a time containing copies of emails they are attempting to send to me. These emails contain threats.

Similar to the harassment and threats made by the Buksteins to Brodkorb, Jay Bukstein “…stated in emails that his wife, Kimberley Bukstein would kill herself if the cases against them were not dismissed.”

Respondents Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have made threats to myself, my livelihood and my client. Respondent Jay Bukstein explicitly stated in emails that his wife, Kimberley Bukstein would kill herself if the cases against them were not dismissed. Ms. Bukstein herself made threats of suicide in emails as well including reference to Easter Sunday being a good day to die.

The court agreed and found that the Buksteins made both “harassing phone calls” and “threats” to Hansen. The HRO against the Buksteins remains in effect until May 1, 2021. Continue reading

Ten-month investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility’s investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys has entered its tenth month, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The ten-month investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June 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 lawsuit filed by MacDonald against Missing in Minnesota was dismissed last month by a judge in Ramsey County.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

Criminal charge filed against Jay Bukstein for violating restraining order

Jay Bukstein has been criminally charged for violating an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against him in Dakota County by Michael Brodkorb. Bukstein violated the conditions of the HRO less than 90 minutes after a judge in Dakota County upheld the HRO filed by Brodkorb against Jay Bukstein.

Last month, Brodkorb was granted HROs against Kimberley and Jay Bukstein after they harassed Brodkorb for the past year.

Kimberley and Jay Bukstein have been supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald. Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Buksteins are referenced in the new best-selling true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

According to public court documents filed in Dakota County, Jay Bukstein is scheduled to be arraigned in court on June 4, 2019. The HROs against the Buksteins remain in effect until March 14, 2021.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the legal developments involving Kimberley and Jay Bukstein.

Restraining orders granted for harassing Michael Brodkorb

A judge in Dakota County granted Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO) against two supporters of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald for harassing Michael Brodkorb for the past year.

The HROs were filed separately by Brodkorb against Kimberley Bukstein and her husband, Jay Bukstein, who reside together in St. Paul, Minnesota. The HROs remain in effect until March 14, 2021.

Kimberley Bukstein is a self-described “civil-rights advocate” who was fined $10,000 for the unauthorized practice of law in Ohio in 2013. Both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein are also “qualified” Rule 114 ADR Neutrals for the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Buksteins are referenced in the new best-selling true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

In the last year, the Buksteins have repeatedly initiated episodes of unwanted and aggressive contact with Brodkorb via email, text messages, and phone calls. Despite being instructed to cease all contact on countless occasions, the Buksteins continued to contact Brodkorb until they were served with the HROs last month. Twitter accounts connected to both Kimberley and Jay Bukstein were suspended in the last year for engaging in harassment or abusive conduct toward Brodkorb.

Over the last few weeks, the emails, text messages, and phone calls from the Buksteins became more threatening and dangerous.

Emails from Kimberley Bukstein included statements that she was suicidal and that she would soon hang herself with a rope. She sent other emails containing numerous sexual references, a video of her chanting (below) in an unknown language over a copy of  The Girls Are Gone, and an offer to bake for Brodkorb so he could “taste [Kimberley Bukstein’s] soul.”

Many of the emails sent from Kimberley Bukstein to Brodkorb were also sent to Dede Evavold, Michelle MacDonald, and Angela Young. The most concerning emails and texts from Kimberley Bukstein made references to Brodkorb’s children and language suggesting that she was watching Brodkorb from outside his home late at night.

Emails from Jay Bukstein contained numerous threats and profane language. One email from him included a request to come live with Brodkorb at his home.

A court hearing – requested by the Buksteins – about the HROs will be held at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota on April 8, 2019, at 9 AM. Continue reading