Michelle MacDonald made her first appearance in family court on behalf of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on February 26, 2013. MacDonald’s work on behalf of Grazzini-Rucki created controversy and turmoil in court, and MacDonald’s law license may be suspended for her conduct while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney.
Minutes into the court hearing, the judge said “this is not the way that I expected to start off this hearing.”
According to court documents from February 23, 2013, MacDonald requested the court take a roll call to determine the names of everyone in the courtroom, including members of the public. The court documents also show that MacDonald repeatedly interrupted the court proceedings, with MacDonald later apologizing for comments she made during the court hearing.
MacDonald later arrested during family court hearing
On September 12, 2013, MacDonald was arrested during a family court hearing while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney. The public booking from MacDonald’s arrest by the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office is pictured right.
MacDonald continues to serve as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney. Grazzini-Rucki was convicted last July on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.
MacDonald considered “suspect” and labeled “person of interest” by law enforcement
In April 2015, MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. MacDonald recently disclosed that the Lakeville Police Department also considered her a “suspect” in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters, according to a publication co-authored by MacDonald.
She refused to cooperate with the Lakeville Police Department’s investigation into her possible involvement in the disappearance of the sisters – even after public statements from her that she would cooperate in the investigation. Her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in 2015 that he would advise MacDonald not to speak with the Lakeville Police Department.
MacDonald was replaced as Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal defense attorney by Grigsby on November 18, 2015 – the same day the Rucki sisters were found by by the Lakeville Police Department on a ranch in northern Minnesota.
MacDonald appeals possible suspension of law license, campaign law violation
MacDonald is appealing both a recommendation from a Minnesota Supreme Court referee that her law license be suspended and a ruling from a three-judge panel which ruled she “knowingly violated” campaign law when she falsely claimed her campaign was endorsed by a non-existent Republican organization.
MacDonald is connected to Dede Evavold
MacDonald is connected to Dede Evavold, who was found guilty for her role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.
Evavold is a strong opponent of family courts and attended numerous court hearings in Dakota County involving the Rucki family, providing assistance to Grazzini-Rucki and MacDonald.
Evavold previously served as MacDonald’s campaign manager when she ran for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014. MacDonald also ran for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016 against Justice Natalie Hudson and Evavold was listed as the chair of MacDonald’s campaign until May 2016.
According to MacDonald’s most recent campaign finance report, MacDonald owes Evavold $2,635.04 for public relations and mileage expenses.