Posts tagged David Rucki

Court hearing held on sanctions against Michelle MacDonald

Judge Karen Asphaug heard arguments in a Dakota County courtroom today regarding the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions filed against Michelle MacDonald in response to her lawsuit against me and Missing in Minnesota. Judge Asphaug said she would be making a decision before our hearing on September 10 in Ramsey County regarding sanctions against MacDonald.

MacDonald’s attorney Karlowba R. Adams Powell made numerous false statements in court today and seemed unfamiliar with the messy procedural history created by MacDonald’s lawsuit. Adams Powell falsely claimed our attorney, Nathan Hansen filed duplicative pleadings in Dakota and Ramsey County. She also claimed Hansen was “harassing” MacDonald and accused him of “unprofessional conduct.”

Hansen corrected Adams Powell on her inaccurate statements in court.

MacDonald declines to answer questions about her representation of Grazzini-Rucki

After the hearing, and in the presence of both our attorney and MacDonald’s attorney, I asked MacDonald a few questions in the front lobby of the Dakota County Judicial Center. Multiple deputies with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office we present during our brief exchange. Ten days ago, I wrote on Twitter that I planned on asking MacDonald questions at the courthouse about the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. We were scheduled to interview MacDonald last November, but she abruptly canceled and refused to reschedule the interview. Continue reading

Judge calls Evavold’s harassment of Rucki family ‘evil’

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 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.

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 the last year, 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. Evavold’s blog has 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. 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

Kimberley Bukstein sued for allegedly filing false police & child protection reports

Kimberley Bukstein, who is connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters, is being sued in civil court for allegedly filing false police & child protection reports.

According to a lawsuit filed on December 7, 2017, Bukstein is one of three people and two organizations being sued for making “numerous reports to various government agencies (i.e., police, child protection) alleging false allegations against Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs seek judgment per Minnesota Statutes prohibiting malicious reporting and in defamation.”

A trial has been scheduled for January 2019 for the lawsuit filed against Bukstein and others in Ramsey County District Court.

In an unrelated case, Bukstein filed complaints in 2013 against nearly every licensed professional involved in the divorce between Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her ex-husband, David Rucki.

She was also disciplined for the unauthorized practice of law and has sent repeated threatening and harassing communications in an attempt to shut down Missing in Minnesota. Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki re-sentenced; will serve 14 additional days in prison

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki executed the remainder of her jail sentence at a court hearing this morning at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota. Grazzini-Rucki received credit for serving 266 days in jail and will serve the balance of her sentence – 14 days – at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee.

Grazzini-Rucki will remain on supervised release for an additional 4 1/2 months after she finishes her sentence.

The court hearing was momentarily delayed because Grazzini-Rucki refused to walk from the jail facility to the courtroom. She was placed in a wheelchair and transported to a holding cell near the courtroom.

Nearly 45 minutes after the hearing was scheduled to start, Grazzini-Rucki walked briskly into the courtroom smiling, without the assistance of a wheelchair.

Through her public defender, Scott Baker, Grazzini-Rucki claimed she suffered injuries during her transport from a jail in Florida to Minnesota. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and injured her neck, and back. She also claimed she suffered a spinal cord injury.

Her attorney said he had no records to confirm Grazzini-Rucki’s claims. She requested to be immediately released from custody.

This request was denied, by Judge Terrence E. Conkel.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena said she had no information to validate Grazzini-Rucki’s claims of being injured while en route to Minnesota.

Keena said Grazzini-Rucki did not appear injured when she walked into the courtroom. She added that Grazzini-Rucki is prone to “exaggerating.”

Once Grazzini-Rucki entered the courtroom, the hearing lasted approximately 10 minutes. Grazzini-Rucki declined to make any statement to the court prior to being sentenced.

Unlike previous court hearings, Grazzini-Rucki had no supporters in the courtroom.
Continue reading

UPDATE: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki back in jail in Minnesota

UPDATE (12:30 PM, Monday, April 23, 2018) – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki had a brief court appearance this morning at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota. Grazzini-Rucki is being held without bail pending her next court appearance, scheduled for Friday at 9 AM. Grazzini-Rucki has applied to be represented by a public defender, despite living in a waterfront estate community in Clearwater, Florida. Stay tuned for updates.

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Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was booked into the Dakota County Jail at 5:48 AM this morning after being transported from the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida.

Grazzini-Rucki had been in custody in Florida since March 27, 2018, after a warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to appear at her re-sentencing hearing on March 26, 2018, related to her 2016 conviction on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Grazzini-Rucki is scheduled to have her first court appearance on Monday, at 10 AM at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota.

In total, it took Grazzini-Rucki eight days to be transported with other inmates from Florida to Minnesota. The company that transported Grazzini-Rucki stopped in at least three different states – Georgia, Texas, and Illinois – to deliver other inmates to correctional facilities.

Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. In March 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced that she and others would be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children. Continue reading

Dede Evavold creates confusion over jail sentence

Dede Evavold was not required to report to jail today, despite Evavold herself publishing documents which claimed she was scheduled to serve 15 days in jail starting on April 19, 2018, and continuing each April 19 until 2023.

Evavold created the confusion last year when she published documents which detailed her scheduled for reporting to jail for the next six years related to her felony convictions 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 reviewing court documents which conflicted with Evavold’s claims, court staff at the Dakota County Judicial Center was able to verify that the information posted by Evavold was incorrect and she was not required to report to jail today.

Dede Evavold (in white) sits in the front row of the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee next to Michelle MacDonald (in red) on April 17, 2018.
Dede Evavold (in white) sits in the front row of the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee next to Michelle MacDonald (in red) on April 17, 2018.

In a bizarre unrelated development, Evavold attended a public committee hearing of the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. Evavold was seen on public television sitting and chatting with Michelle MacDonald, who is Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

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

MacDonald’s law license was “conditionally reinstated” in the last few weeks by the Minnesota Supreme Court after her license was suspended related to her conduct while serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s law license ‘conditionally reinstated’

Michelle MacDonald’s law license has been “conditionally reinstated” by the Minnesota Supreme Court effective today subject to her completion of the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…”

MacDonald will remain on supervised probation for two years with numerous conditions limiting her practice of law.

MacDonald has until January 17, 2019, to provide verification that she has completed the written portion of the Bar exam “on the subject of professional responsibility…” or she will be automatically re-suspended “pending proof of successful completion of the examination…”

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended last year that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.

The conditions of MacDonald’s two-year probation include that she will be supervised by an attorney appointed by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

MacDonald is prohibited from engaging in “the solo practice of law,” and she must “work in a setting where she is in daily contact with, and under the direct supervision of another Minnesota licensed attorney.”

MacDonaldLawOfficesEmptyLarge
Michelle MacDonald’s law office in West St. Paul, Minnesota

The complaint filed against MacDonald focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa.

The complaint claimed MacDonald’s disorganization required the D’Costa trial to last longer than necessary, adding that MacDonald offered exhibits that “were a mess.”

MacDonald was arrested during a court hearing in September 2013 while serving as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney.

MacDonald’s direct responsibility for her conduct which led to her arrest was repeatedly mentioned in the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court. Continue reading

Grazzini-Rucki falsely claimed she was homeless when jailed in Florida

Sandra 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.

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

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

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

Grazzini-Rucki had her first appearance yesterday at 1:30 PM at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville. Continue reading

UPDATE: Arrest warrant issued for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

UPDATE (5:52 AM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida.

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UPDATE (8:00 PM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – A search of public jail rosters shows Sandra Grazzini-Rucki remains at large.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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UPDATE (10:00 AM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018) – According to law enforcement sources, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki remains at large.

During her criminal trial, it was disclosed that Grazzini-Rucki had a driver’s license in three different states  – Connecticut, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Grazzini-Rucki was also recently connected to an address in Florida.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

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(11:45 AM, Monday, March 26, 2018)  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki after she failed to appear at her re-sentencing hearing this morning related to her 2016 conviction on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

At approximately 9:30 AM – 30 minutes after the re-sentencing hearing was to start at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota – Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena requested that a warrant be issued for Grazzini-Rucki’s arrest for failing to appear in court.

Judge Karen Asphaug granted Keena’s request, and an arrest warrant was later issued for Grazzini-Rucki. Judge Asphaug also said in court today that Grazzini-Rucki had not completed her required 12 days of Sentencing of Service, which she is required to complete every year she is on probation.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found.

They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. Last March, Grazzini-Rucki announced that she and others would be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children.

After Grazzini-Rucki failed to report to jail last November, we published a detailed post explaining why Grazzini-Rucki not being in jail should scare you.

If you have information about the location of Grazzini-Rucki, please call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 438-TIPS.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to be re-sentenced tomorrow

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki will be re-sentenced tomorrow after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Grazzini-Rucki could execute the remainder of her criminal sentence.

She later appealed her criminal conviction to the Minnesota Supreme Court, but the court rejected her petition.

Grazzini-Rucki will appear in court tomorrow at 9:00 AM at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Minnesota.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were missing for a total of 944 days and were reunited with their father days after they were found. They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Since being convicted in July 2016 on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights, Grazzini-Rucki, and her supporters have continued their behavior of making false allegations against David Rucki, his family, the media, law enforcement, and the judiciary.

Her disdain for law enforcement and the court system has become more flagrant, her rhetoric more incendiary, and her behavior increasingly dangerous.

Grazzini-Rucki is currently on probation for her role in the disappearance of her children, which she has repeatedly violated. Last March, Grazzini-Rucki announced that she and others would be targeting the family members of judges, attorneys, and county staff, including their children. Continue reading

Dede Evavold released from jail…for now

Dede Evavold walked out of the Dakota County Jail this evening after Judge Kathleen Gearin permitted Evavold to be released from jail to remove the remaining online material about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family published by Evavold which violates an Harassment Restraining Order.

Evavold has been in jail since Sunday after being arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Judge Gearin gave Evavold until Monday, March 26, 2018, at 4:30 PM to remove the remaining content or she is ordered to report to jail in Dakota County by 9 AM on March 27.

During today’s court hearing Lisa Elliott, the attorney for the Rucki family, agreed with comments made by Dede Evavold’s husband Darin that most of the content had been removed, but a small amount remains posted.

Darin Evavold brought Dede’s laptop computer to today’s court hearing, as he did for yesterday’s court hearing for his wife.

At the court hearing, Darin worked with Allison Mann, a paralegal from Elliott Law Offices to remove the additional content.

“We just want Ms. Evavold to stop harassing the [Rucki family],” said Elliott during today’s hearing.

Dede Evavold was present in the courtroom and she did not object while Darin worked with Mann to identify content that needed to be removed.

All parties agreed that Darin and Dede Evavold would stay in communication with Elliott’s office over the coming days to ensure Dede is in full compliance with the court’s order before Monday’s deadline.

Over the last two days, Darin Evavold has appeared visibly frustrated in court as he worked to remove the vast amount of online content published by his wife which landed her in jail.

This is why Elliott and Mann assisted Darin Evavold in removing the content, explained Mann.

“I have been monitoring the removal of content from Ms. Evavold’s blog and other social media accounts over the last two weeks,” said Allison Mann.

“At the start of today’s hearing, some of the content remained available online,” said Mann, who added, “Darin Evavold came to court today with his wife’s laptop so that he could delete anything that was left.”

Mann concluded, “our main goal has been and continues to be to stop the harassment of the Rucki family.” Continue reading

Court orders Dede Evavold to remain in jail overnight

Dede Evavold will be held in jail overnight until a court hearing tomorrow after a judge in Dakota County declined to release Evavold after she appeared in court this morning for her first hearing after being arrested on Sunday on an outstanding warrant.

The warrant was issued after Evavold ignored a previous court order issued by Judge Kathleen Gearin 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 violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

During the brief bail hearing at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings, Evavold argued with Judge Christopher J. Lehmann, demanding that she be released on her own recognizance.

DarinEvavoldDakotaCounty03202018CropSmallerJust after 10:15 AM, Dede’s husband Darin Evavold, arrived at the courthouse with a laptop and went into the courtroom.

During the hearing, with his wife behind security glass, Darin stood up and frantically waved the laptop in an attempt to show they were working to comply with Judge Gearin’s order.

Darin Evavold admitted that Dede has not yet fully complied with Judge Gearin’s order, which was issued on March 1, 2018.

Both Dede and Darin Evavold were visibly angry at the conclusion of the court hearing.

Darin Evavold later left the courthouse with the laptop and yelled across the parking lot while he was photographed by media walking to his car.

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.

Since her release from jail in January 2017, Evavold has repeatedly ignored the conditions of her probation and court orders by making repeated references to the Rucki family in her use of social media.

Continue reading

UPDATE: Dede Evavold arrested in St. Cloud

DedeEvavoldStearnsCounty03182018UPDATE (8:00 AM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) – Dede Evavold has been booked into the Stearns County Jail.

A review this morning of Evavold’s blog and social media postings shows Evavold has still not fully complied with Judge Kathleen Gearin’s order.

Follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for the latest developments on Evavold’s arrest and her next appearance in court.

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(5:30 PM, Sunday, March 18, 2018) – Dede Evavold was arrested this afternoon at her home in St. Cloud, Minnesota on an outstanding warrant that was issued last week for contempt of court.

The warrant was issued last Wednesday after Evavold 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 violate an Harassment Restraining Order.

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.

Since her release from jail last January, Evavold has repeatedly ignored the conditions of her probation by making repeated references to the Rucki family in her use of social media.

Evavold is being held at the Stearns County Jail without bail until she is transferred to Dakota County for a court hearing in the next few days.  Continue reading