Category Legal Developments

Court affirms Evavold’s ‘evil’ harassment of Rucki family

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold, affirming a district court’s finding which found Evavold’s harassment “evil.” 

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.

After being released from jail, Evavold repeatedly violated the explicit terms of her probation and the HRO by continuing to reference the Rucki family in her use of social media. Evavold’s blog posted pictures of the Rucki family, their home in Lakeville, and the address to the home, in violation of the HRO and the conditions of her probation.

On July 28, 2017, a court in Dakota County has found that  “an immediate and present danger of harassment” by Evavold exists to warrant the granting of a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Evavold.

In March 2018,  a warrant was issued today for the arrest of 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 violated the HRO.

Evavold was arrested days later while hiding inside her home. She was later released from jail to remove the remaining online material which violates the HRO.

Last July, a judge in Dakota County has upheld the Harassment Restraining Order requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold, describing Evavold’s threatening behavior toward the Rucki family as “evil.”

“In the 34+ years the undersigned has served as a District or Senior Judge, never have I seen a case that represents harassment most evil,” wrote Judge Philip Kanning in his order released yesterday. “The Respondent’s actions have been intended to terrify, threaten and invade the privacy of the Petitioner and his minor children,” adding Judge Kanning. Evavold appealed the order from Judge Kanning last July.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Kanning’s order and determined “that the HRO restrains unprotected speech.”

The harassment by Evavold and others is detailed in the award-winning true crime book The Girls Are Gonewhich was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann. 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.

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Sandra Grazzini-Rucki unsuccessfully attempted to block her children from paying for their college education, according to public court documents. Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts to interfere with children’s college payments came during the same time she was fighting in court to not pay her court-mandated child support payments.

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, who lives at a waterfront estate community in Florida, sent a letter to a court in Hennepin County requesting they “immediately stop” any payments from a trust account established by her parents, Albert and Nina Grazzini, for the educational expenses of their grandchildren.

In her letter, Grazzini-Rucki falsely claimed she was to be notified of any payments that were being made from the trust account. The court later determined that Grazzini-Rucki was not required to be notified, but that her attorney,  Michelle MacDonald had been notified of transactions made by the trust account.

A court hearing was scheduled in Hennepin County this past April to discuss the Grazzini-Rucki’s letter and the scheduled payments for college expenses for her children. Grazzini-Rucki did not attend the hearing and the court later found the allegations made in her letter were unfounded and that the payments for her children’s’ college expenses should be paid. 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.

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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 by the Eagan Police Department 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.

Evavold requested a court hearing to challenge the granting of the HRO, but a judge later upheld the HRO ruling that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.”

According to public court documents filed in Dakota County, Evavold is scheduled to be arraigned in court on July 30, 2019. The HRO against Evavold remains in place until November 19, 2020.

Evavold is currently on probation related to her criminal conviction in September 2016 of six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

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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

Michelle MacDonald’s lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota dismissed

A judge in Ramsey County today dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Judge Richard H. Kyle, Jr. granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota in October.

Judge Kyle ruled MacDonald was a public figure and that the statements made by Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota “were either true or lack the requisite showing of actual malice…”

In an interview for Minnesota Lawyer, Brodkorb said the ruling from today from Judge Kyle was that further evidence that MacDonald’s lawsuit “should have never been filed in the first place.” Continue reading

Restraining orders granted for stalking Brodkorb and Mann

A judge in Dakota County granted Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO) against a zealous supporter of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald, for harassing and stalking Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann.

The HROs were filed separately by Brodkorb and Mann against Terry Dean Nemmers of Glenwood, Minnesota.

Over the last three years, Nemmers (pictured above during a previous time in jail) has attempted to contact Brodkorb and Mann nearly 400 times, despite being instructed on multiple occasions to cease all contact. Most recently, Nemmers has taking premeditated steps to track and monitor Brodkorb and Mann’s public events to promote their new book, The Girls Are Gone.  Nemmers sent harassing and threatening emails to bookstores, trying to have Brodkorb and Mann’s book events canceled.

Nemmers has also posted pictures of Brodkorb’s wife and children – the same pictures that were surreptitiously taken of Brodkorb’s wife and children and distributed online.

The HROs – which remain in effect until February 2021 – note that Nemmers “[f]ollwed, pursued, or stalked” both Brodkorb and Mann.  Nemmers is prohibited from having any direct or indirect contact with Brodkorb and Mann. He is also prohibited from attending any of their appearances or book events. Continue reading

Seven-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 seventh month, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The seven-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.

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: Facebook Event During Broadcast of ABC’s “20/20” Episode

UPDATE (5:31 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2018) – Our Facebook event has ended. Thank you to all that particpated in the discussion. To read more about the ABC “20/20” episode broadcast today on The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), please buy the new best-selling true crime book, The Girls Are Gone.

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UPDATE (3:40 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2018) – We’re discussing the broadcast now on Facebook. Please join us for the discussion.

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Starting TODAY at 3:45 PM (CST), we’ll be answering questions on Facebook during The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) rebroadcast of the ABC’s “20/20” episode discussed in the new best-selling true crime book, The Girls Are Gone.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks in the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

“20/20” episode discussed in the new best-selling true crime book

Grazzini-Rucki’s appearance on “20/20” is discussed along with her involvement in the disappearance of her daughters Samantha and Gianna Rucki is examined in the new book, The Girls Are Gone.

The book details the events which led to Grazzini-Rucki abducting her daughters on April 19, 2013, during a custody dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki. On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

Since being released in October, The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. The Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone is currently listed on Amazon’s Best Selling True Crime BiographiesThe Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook to participate in the discussion during Thursday’s broadcast of “Footprints in the Snow.”

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

Thursday: ABC’s ’20/20′ episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

On Thursday, December 27, 2018, at 4 PM (CST), The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will be broadcasting the episode of ABC’s “20/20” discussed in the new best-selling true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone. Starting at 3:45 PM (CST), we’ll be answering questions and discussing the broadcast live on Facebook.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks in the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

In April 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced she would be filing a defamation lawsuit against ABC, Inc, ABC’s “20/20”, and Elizabeth Vargas, the co-anchor of “20/20”. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she would be seeking “an ungodly amount” of money in her latest lawsuit, but the lawsuit was never filed. Continue reading