A federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald in March 2015 against Dakota County stemming from her arrest while representing Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in a family court hearing has been dismissed.
It was during the custody hearing involving Grazzini-Rucki and her ex-husband, David Rucki, on September 12, 2013, that MacDonald took pictures in the courtroom which led to her being arrested.
MacDonald spent a portion of the trial representing Grazzini-Rucki while confined to a wheelchair after her own refusal to walk back into the courtroom. MacDonald also refused to put on her shoes and glasses, or provide her legal name and address to law enforcement.
The Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Defendants’ Summary Judgement, written by John R. Turnheim, Chief Judge of United State District Court of Minnesota, dismisses all of MacDonald’s claims. Because the court has ruled that no grounds exist for the lawsuit, attorneys representing Dakota County have requested that the court order MacDonald to pay costs incurred by Dakota County due to the lawsuit.
In March of 2016, the court dismissed many of MacDonald’s claims including, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and retaliatory prosecution leaving only a few claims left to argue.
At that time, the court also found no grounds for claims of excessive force and state assault and battery “which related to her removal from the courtroom, removal of her personal effects, and placement in a wheelchair.”
Also dismissed were claims of equal protection, federal conspiracy, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and finally a claim by Thomas Shimota, MacDonald’s husband, for loss of consortium. Continue reading