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Sunday, December 23, 2018

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How Minnesota Courts Turned a Protective Parent into a Villain and a Monster into a Victim


Two recently unearthed motions show the length that the Minnesota court system would go to hide David Rucki’s abuse.

Both motions are referred to as motions in limine; a motion in limine was submitted and granted in full both in the Rucki custody trial but in a criminal trial.

A motion in limine, limits or excludes certain items from being introduced.

In both these cases, the items, if they were introduced at trial, would have painted David Rucki as the monster he is.

In both cases, separate corrupt judges allowed these motions to be granted, and this is at least in part how quietly the courts have made sure to cover up for a mountain of abuse that David Rucki is a vicious and violent monster.

Criminal trial

Background
                     (Minnesota First District Judge Karen Asphaug, who presided over the criminal trial)


On September 7, 2012, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was given only a few hours to vacate her home; she was not allowed to speak with her children, and this was all arranged without her knowledge.

The plan, devised primarily by the corrupt Minnesota First District Judge David Knutson, was for David Rucki, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s ex-husband- for his sister to move into the home Grazzini-Rucki was being forced to leave and to move and take care of the five children.

That never happened.

When her five children came home that day and found their mother gone, they ran to the police station.

Four of the five children went to live with Grazzini-Rucki’s sister, while Nico lived in the home with David’s sister.

On April 19, 2013, the two oldest girls- Gianna and Samantha- were first tricked into going to the police station; at the station, they were told they were being forced to live with David’s sister, and transitioning to David.

They were brought to the home in a police car. Approximately a half hour to an hour after the police left, Samantha and Gianna ran. Their mother had been left so destitute by the divorce she no longer had a phone, but they called around until they found someone she was with, Dale Nathan, a disbarred lawyer who helped abused women like Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

She picked them up at a nearby park and took them to her friend Dede Evavold’s house. After the girls described in excruciating detail David Rucki’s abuse, Evavold called a woman she knew, Gina Dahlen, who ran a farm for abused children in another part of Minnesota.

The girls were hidden at this farm until November 2015, when they were found.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Evavold and the two Dahlens were all charged with a crime called parental deprivation; none was charged with kidnapping because the girls went willing, not only stayed at the farm willingly, but threatened to run again if forced to be returned to their father.

The court, in November 2013, would grant David Rucki sole custody.

In each of the four trials, the argument by the defense was to be that they were hiding the girls because David Rucki presented a clear and present danger.

As such, any exclusion of evidence of Rucki’s violence, criminality, threats and coercion would render an unfair trial to the defendants.

What follows is all the evidence not allowed introduced into the criminal trial. 

Motions in Limine (1) by on Scribd


Repeated violations of restraining orders/ and orders of protection

More than ten of the items, involved restraining orders/orders of protections, or violations of these orders. It’s important to note that the prosecutors insisted on going forward, knowing of these incidents. The Dakota County Prosecutor is James Backstrom and the prosecutor who prosecuted all the cases is Kathleen Keena. The office did not respond to an email for comment for the article.

Because there are so many items, best to list them in bullet form.

1)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki with a citation issued to him on 06/20/2011 for allegedly violating an order for protection. The citation was dismissed.

2)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki for his past conviction of violation of an order for protection dated 11/07/2011. The crime is a misdemeanor and is not admissible under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(1) because it is not a crime that was punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year.

3)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki with a citation issued to him on 07/17/2011 for allegedly violating an order for protection. The citation was dismissed.

4)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki With a citation issued to him on 10/12/2011 for allegedly violating an order for protection. Mr. Rucki was acquitted of this offense.

5)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki with a citation issued to him on 11/30/2012 for allegedly violating an order for protection. Mr. Rucki was acquitted of this offense.

6)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to a harassment restraining order petition filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on her own behalf and against David Rucki on August 1, 2013, contained in Scott County Court File No. 70-CV-1315408, including any mention that the petition was filed and any of the underlying facts or circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. An order denying the petition was filed or: September 16, 2013.

7)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to an order for protection petition filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on her own behalf and against David Rucki on July 2, 2012, contained in Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-FA-12-1818, including any mention that the petition was filed and any of the underlying facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. An order dismissing the petition was filed on July 20, 2012.

8)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to an order for protection petition filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on behalf of her minor children against David Rucki on June 24, 2011, contained in Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-FA-111940, including any mention that the petition was filed and any of the underlying facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. An order dismissing the petition was filed on June 30, 2011.

9)      For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to an order for protection petition filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on her crvvn behalf and against David Rucki on June 6, 2011, contained in Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-FA-11-1760, including any mention that the petition was filed and an order was issued; and any of the underlying facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. The parties, through their respective dissolution attorneys, agreed that this order for protection would be issued without an admission to any of the allegations set forth in the petition and that no finding of domestic assault was made. Judge Knutson dismissed the order for protection on January 27, 2012.

David Rucki and his neighbors

One of the orders of protection related to his neighbors, the Martins; here is that item, “For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to a harassment restraining order obtained by Randy Martin against David Rucki filed on September 8, 2009, contained in Dakota County Coult File No. 19AV-CV-09-3394, including any mention that the petition was filed and order entered; and any of the underlying facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. Randy Martin and David Rucki were neighbors at the time of the entry of this harassment restraining order and the order expired effective September 8, 2011.”

There is also a police report involving the Martins which prosecutors wanted excluded, “For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki for his past conviction of dog at large dated 06/09/2011. (See Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-VB-l l4161). The crime was deemed a petty misdemeanor and is not admissible under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(1) because it is not a crime that was punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. Furthermore, the conviction is not admissible under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(2) because it is not a crime involving dishonesty or false statement.”

The crime itself isn’t interesting, except that it was not the only time that Rucki’s dogs got into his neighbor’s yard, and during one police report the Martin’s noted that they were so afraid of David Rucki they’d installed a video camera on top of their house.

In a letter, Mr. Martin said, “On numerous occasions he (David Rucki) has raised his voice in anger at his children. I have even heard him yelling, arguing, and scolding his wife on a cell phone call to her. He truly berated her about being a good mother.”

The Martin’s never testified at the criminal trial, and Mr. Martin declined to comment the one time I reached out to him.

David Rucki Threatens to Kill His In-law

Another order for protection which was not allowed to be introduced was one filed by David Rucki’s in-law Christopher Bye, here’s that portion of the motion, “For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any evidence related to a harassment restraining order petition filed by, Christopher Bye on behalf of himself and his wife Christine Bye against David Rucki on August 21, 2008, contained in Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-CV-08-2094, including any mention that the petition was filed and any of the underlying facts and circumstances relied upon in support of the petition. An order dismissing the petition was filed on September 3, 2008.”

The important thing to see is the police report from this incident. Both had been vying for money left from an estate when the two ran into each other at the hockey rink. The police report picks it up there.

 “Chris said David Victor Rucki was waiting for him and confronted him the second he got out of his vehicle with his son. Chris said David is his wife’s uncle and is one of the family members that are suing for more money. Chris said David has a son who attends hockey camp at HDC and already dropped him off. Chris said David confronted him by swearing and yelling profanities at him. Chris said David made reference to ‘stealing money’.” The police report states. “Chris said he yelled back at David and told his son to go inside. While Chris was talking to me, he was visibly upset. Chris said after his son went inside, David approached him and was nose to nose with him in the parking lot. Chris said David yelled at him, ‘I’m coming after you and you won’t see me coming.’ Chris said David also said, ‘it probably won’t be me (that will get you).’Chris said he turned to leave, and David got in his car and yelled, ‘Let’s go. Let’s go!’ Chris said he is afraid of David and feels David was trying to intimidate him. Chris said he is fearful for his family and feels David will follow through on these threats.”

This incident started as a fifth-degree assault; that was dropped in favor of the protective order which also went away. None of that the jury heard.

2014 Road Rage Incident

Another incident prosecutors kept out of the criminal trial was a road rage incident. They dressed it up because Rucki plead to a misdemeanor. “For an order prohibiting Defendant from impeaching David Rucki for his past conviction of disorderly conduct dated 12/02/2014. The crime is a misdemeanor and is not admissible under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(1) because it is not a crime that was punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. Furthermore, the conviction is not admissible under Minn. R. Evid. 609(a)(2) because it is not a crime involving dishonesty or false statement. (See Dakota County Court File No. 19AV-CR-14-8958).

Once again, the police report described the real depravity.

“Upon arrival we made contact with Suspect 1: Troy Lee Witt DOB. 10/07/1962 who was actively bleeding from the mouth and lips. Witt said he was involved in a road rage incident with Suspect #2, later identified as David Victor Rucki DOB 02/03/1963. Witt stated Rucki cut him off in traffic and admitted to later passing Rucki’s vehicle and ‘flipping him the bird’ before cutting him off in return. Witt said Rucki followed him into Cub Foods and parked his vehicle behind Witt as he was parked legally in the lot. Witt said Rucki got out of his vehicle and confronted him by the cart coral, where they both exchanged in a verbal altercation. Witt said Rucki pushed him into the cart corral and then returned to his vehicle. Witt said he then pursued Rucki slamming his driver’s door after he got into his car. Witt said he was ‘pretty sure’ Rucki was completely inside his vehicle when he slammed the door, but he stated he could not be positive. Witt said Rucki then came after him and punched him once, knocking him down to his knees. He said Rucki punched him two or three more times and then walked into Cub Foods.”

Brady Violation

As I already showed, the manipulation of evidence so that David Rucki’s violent past was excluded through the dubious use of the motion in limine was only one way in which the criminal proceedings were a farce.

Another way was the Brady violation, or when a prosecutor withholds exculpatory or important information. It is referred to as a Brady violation from the US Supreme Court case Brady Vs. Maryland.

In this case, the police report from the day the girls were found was not apparently shared with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. There is one critical part in the report. “Samantha and Gianna came down, and immediately told us that they would not go back to their father.  We told them that our first concern was their safety.  I did ask them about the last time that they had heard from their mother, and they told me that they would not say anything without a lawyer.”

If the girls insisted on running if returned to their father, they were safer hidden.

But Sandra Grazzini-Rucki never made that argument, she previously told me that this is because she never received this police report.

Witness Tampering

Samantha Rucki did a police interview approximately a month prior to her mother’s criminal trial; during this interview, she told the detective, Kelli Coughlin, this,They (her father and his sister) basically said I have to (go to the interview) and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and it’s going and that’s the way it’s gonna be- and they made me feel guilty about it and I started to cry.

Not only was nothing done by police and prosecutors but two additional charges were added to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki after this interview.

Jury Tampering

There were even reports that press repeatedly approach the jury during the trial to get interviews. Here’s a tweet from an observer.

There were also other police reports which could also have been introduced but weren’t: a 1994 bar fight (for which Rucki was convicted, though of a misdemeanor) and my personal favorite, a 2009 incident in which heswears uncontrollably at two and three year olds.
The judge in the last case, when he swore at two and three year olds, was Judge Karen Asphaug, who just happened- coincidentally I’m sure- to preside over the criminal trials of all four defendants (Grazzini-Rucki, Evavold, and the two Dahlen's), something which is totally inappropriate.

Asphaug dismissed that case in 2010 on the eve of trial for a lack of probable cause, even though there were multiple witnesses to the verbal assault.
Conclusion

To conclude, Asphaug effectively ruled that anything but calling David Rucki a nice guy was not allowed, “For an order prohibiting Defendant from introducing any specific acts of domestic assault allegedly committed against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki by David Rucki and/or any other assaults allegedly committed by David Rucki against any other person(s). David Rucki has never been convicted for assaulting Sandra Grazzini-Rucki or any other person.”

Remember, he was convicted of assaulting the motorist in the 2014 road rage incident; that’s how far Asphaug went to protect Rucki.

Furthermore, numerous witnesses, like a friend who watched David threaten to kill Grazzini-Rucki, could not testify.  

Here’s part of the police report describing the choking incident: “

“David didn’t know Sandra’s friend was there and then said he was going to kill her, punch her and come after her for custody of the children,” according to a police incident report. “She didn’t feel he actually wanted to kill her, but thinks he said these things to frighten her.”
“Sandra also mentioned David has been physical in the past. He has pushed and shoved her but she has declined to call the police because of fear of what he would do when he came back from jail,” the incident report also stated. “Recently, David pulled the leg off the organ, placed it on her neck, and tried to choke her.”
The organ leg incident would also then not be allowed in. 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was convicted of six felonies.

I sent an email to the Dakota county prosecutor, Asphaug, and Alyssa Roberson-Riems, the Minnesota court system’s public affairs officer; none responded to me. 


The Custody Trial

Background


                                 (Judge David Knutson, who presided over the custody trial)

                                                 

After Grazzini-Rucki was effectively thrown out of her own house by Judge David Knutson’s order on September 7, 2012, her then attorney, Lisa Henry, recused herself in November.

Grazzini-Rucki struggled finding a home and defending herself pro-se until she met Michelle MacDonald, who took over the case in early 2013, for a flat $5,000, put up by Grazzini-Rucki’s friend.

Please note, Michelle MacDonald and I wrote the book: “SandraGrazzini-Rucki and the World’s Last Custody Trial” about this case.

MacDonald challenged the constitutionality of Knutson’s September 7, 2012, order, but was denied first by Knutson and then an appeal’s court.

The two oldest girls- Gianna and Samantha- ran away on April 19, 2013, as I said earlier.

Knutson still ordered a custody trial for September 11-12, 2013; on the eve of the trial, MacDonald filed a federal lawsuit against Knutson and others.

She asked Knutson to recuse himself; he refused and then, during the second day of trial, he had MacDonald detained, strapped to a wheelchair, and forced to continue with the trial while still strapped to a wheelchair.

In the middle of all this, Knutson also approved a motion in limine, striking numerous incidents of violence from the record.

He approved this motion even though it was filed on September 10, 2013, the eve of trial.

This motion in limine had eight items.

Limine Custody by on Scribd


Furthermore, Knutson presided not only over the divorce starting in 2012, but on all matters, so when prosecutors in the criminal case claimed that a protective order was dismissed, or David won a case, almost certainly David Knutson was the presiding judge.

David Rucki Stalks Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

The first item struck was a police report from New Elko, where David Rucki stalked his ex-wife at a friend’s house.

“Petitioner (SGR) has listed as an exhibit a police report dated July 27, 2013, from the Elko New Market Police Department as an exhibit,” Elliott said in the motion. “The pre-trial order in this matter limits the issues to be tried as custody, parenting time, and child support. The police report from the Elko New Market Police Department should be excluded as it is irrelevant.”

Here is the police report, “July 27, 2013, I was dispatched to (street address on Wexford Lane) for a suspicious vehicle and possible stalker.

“The vehicle was a GOA/UTL. I spoke with Grazzini-Rucki who told  me the suspect vehicle had driven up and down Wexford lane and had stopped in front of the residence. She told me her ex-husband, David Rucki, was the driver.”

This would not be the only time David Rucki would be caught stalking at this address; another time Grazzini-Rucki’s friend found a GPS device underneath their car. The GPS was then traced to Rucki because he installed it in his home.
Here is that police report.

Even though New Elko Market is in a different county from the one that Knutson presided in, he still ordered that these incidents be in his court before dismissing it. 

The Interview

Because of propaganda in this case, a 2013 story by the local Minneapolis Fox affiliate on this case is largely forgotten, but it was the subject of a motion item. The story is below.

The girls only took up less than a minute of an approximately nine minute story. I’m told the entire raw interview they gave was as long as an hour and a half; here is how I described in an emailed question to Knutson and others, “they (Samantha and Gianna) described acts of violence, sexual assault, and coercion by David Rucki in excruciating detail.”

At around the time the story aired, Samantha also made an audio recording which also described acts of violence- including the organ leg incident- and coercion by David Rucki; she also described an act of sexual deviancy not by David, but someone appointed to the case. Audio below.
"I just want to live with my mom; please let me live with my mom." Samantha says at the end.


David Knutson “Interviews” the Children

On February 26, 2013, Michelle MacDonald made her first court appearance in the Rucki case. She filed a motion to effectively overturn Knutson’s September 7, 2012 order on constitutional grounds.

He denied her motion and held a “listening session” in his chambers with each of the five kids; the so-called “listening session” was something Knutson created himself.

Ironically, when MacDonald attempted to introduce the transcript from this listening session, Elliott argued it violated evidentiary rules, “These in-chambers statements of the Rucki children should be excluded as inadmissible hearsay.”

The children, as with the local Fox, I’ve been told described in detail David Rucki’s abuse.

This too did not make it into the custody trial, but worse than that, Knutson sealed the transcript after the fact, called sua sponte, after MacDonald ordered the transcripts.

“This is true.  You should have a copy of the seal order where judge Knutson called it a listening session.  There was a court reporter and exhibits in the chambers meeting with the children, etc.” MacDonald told me in an email. 

However, it does seem that even Knutson paid lip service to some of these. Here's part of his decision, "At trial, petitioner (Sandra) testified that she had been the primary caretaker of the children since they were born. Petitioner testified that she would take leave from her employment as a flight attendant so that she could stay home with the children. Petitioner testified she did ninety-nine percent of the care of the children. Petitioner testified that she completely ran the home, did all the cleaning, all the cooking, the laundry, and all the shopping."

Judge Knutson awarded David Rucki all the assets, along with awarding him child support and alimony. He also gave David Rucki sole custody, and Grazzini-Rucki has not seen any of her five children since early 2013. 

Judge Knutson quietly recused himself from this case on April 17, 2015; the order is below.

G168-1201-0626 (1) by on Scribd


That's twelve days after my first article on this story, published in WND.



That story was about a lawsuit filed by MacDonald which described many of the shenanigans which she experienced in the custody trial.

That article was not only well received but picked up by Alex Jones, and his multi-million person audience.

That bit of coincidence- and I don't believe in coincidences- is not known at all, except possibly by those now reading this.



I also emailed questions to the Elliott, David Knutson, and Roberson-Siems; none of them responded. 



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Minnesota Court System Continues Harassing Sandra Grazzini-Rucki


The Minnesota judicial system appears to be railroading Sandra Grazzini-Rucki again.
On December 14, 2018, the Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Edward Cleary, signed what appears to be a mundane order
Order - Deny (3) by on Scribd



in it, he rejects an appeal filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.
                                                              (Photo of Judge Edward Cleary)

Introduction:

It is the reason for the rejection which should raise eyebrows.
He does not argue any legal grounds but instead rejects it as deficient and demands that a new appeal be filed with certain documentation.

“Appellant must prepare an addendum and file it with the opening brief. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02(a). The addendum must include a table of contents identifying each document included in the addendum, including the document index number from the register of actions, if available, and a copy of any order, judgment, findings, or trial court memoranda in the action directly relating to or affecting the is.sues on appeal.” Cleary says at one point. 
At one other, he says, “We decline to accept appellant's brief with the nonconforming addendum.” Stating later, “The failure to timely file a brief is a technical, nonjurisdictional matter.”

Furthermore, Grazzini-Rucki's appeal was filed on December 13, Cleary issued the order on December 14, 2018, but then only gave  Grazzini-Rucki until December 26, to complete numerous tasks.

Here's his three page order again

In most courts this would be an administrative function. Court clerks would kick out defective filings with instructions on how to do it right. 

That's what happened in my lawsuit in Massachusetts, at least. 

Beyond that, the deadline appears arbitrary.

This all seemed lawless and biased, designed simply to make sure Sandra Grazzini-Rucki failed.

I asked numerous individuals for an explanation. 

First, I emailed the judge, Edward Cleary.

I also emailed Beau Berentsen, Alyssa Roberson-Siems, Lissa Finne, and Kyle Christopherson, of the Minnesota judicial branch media relations department.

I also emailed Jeff Shorba, the Minnesota Court Administrator.

I also left a voicemail for one of his staff members, Kristina Ford.
The Propagandists:

I also asked media which have covered the case: 20/20 producers Sean Dooley and Beth Mullen, Minneapolis Star Tribune reporters Brandon Stahl and Paul Walsh, and Allison Mann, who doubles as David Rucki’s attorney’s clerk but who has also written articles and a book on the case. 

These media folks have perpetuated the propaganda that David Rucki is not abusive and that there is no evidence he is. 



Child Protective Services (CPS) reports, including one made by Nico Rucki in which he claimed his father held a gun to his head.

Here are ninety pages of police reports, affidavits, and photos of evidence of David Rucki's violence; here are twenty-five pages of Child Protective Services reports

I asked Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliott, for good measure as well.

Indeed, what I argued is that this is the latest in a series of actions which amount to a conspiracy to illegally jail Ms. Grazzini-Rucki for back due child support and these actions go back to April 2018.
Finally, An Answer:

Finally, after making dozens of phone calls and emails, I received this email from Alyssa Roberson-Riems.

I believe you were in contact with Ms. AnnMarie O’Neill, Mr. Jeff Shorba, Ms. Kristina Ford, Ms. Lissa Finne, and Mr. Kyle Christopherson yesterday with similar messages as the one below and the other email you distributed yesterday. Staff are limited in what we are permitted to comment on, which you can view here—please see What CIO Cannot Do tab for a full explanation. I have done my best to respond to the process questions I believe were contained in the two emails you sent yesterday.

 In regards to your questions about the issuing of an order from Chief Judge Cleary: The record in this case indicates that the Appellant filed a motion regarding an informal brief and addendum. Motions are referred to judges for written rulings. Chief Judge Cleary issued an order because it is the role of a judge to respond to motions. A judge’s response to a motion comes in the form of an order. Each month the Court of Appeals issues approximately 150 orders.



The order you sent does not contain a requirement for the Appellant to provide copies of transcripts. Transcripts related to appeals come to the Court of Appeals with the rest of the record, not as a part of a party’s addendum.



The order you attached directs the Appellant as follows:

1.       Appellant's motion to accept the existing informal brief and nonconforming addendum is denied.

2.       On or before December 26, 2018, appellant shall serve and file a brief with an addendum in compliance with Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 130.02. Appellant's brief and addendum shall be accompanied by proof of service on respondent's counsel.

3.       Appellant may file an informal brief and addendum, in compliance with Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.01, subd. 1.

4.       Respondent's brief shall be filed within 30 days after service of appellant's brief with a conforming addendum, in accordance with Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.01, subd. 2.

It is the sort of mind-numbing bureaucrat speak that is common from Minnesota officials in response to my questions on this case. I don’t believe that judges generally would see a defective brief however one lawyer I spoke with said it does happen. 
In my own lawsuit, (which is in Massachusetts) that is true. When my filings were defective the court simply sent them back and did not file them.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has been representing herself most of 2018 after her then divorce attorney, Michelle MacDonald, was forced off the case.

As such, it seems draconian and peculiar that the appeal would be filed on December 13, the judge would issue a denial the next day for technical reasons, and only give six business days for a pro se litigant to complete the order. 

It's noteworthy that Cleary gave the other side thirty-days to respond after Grazzini-Rucki's appeal is in; thirty-days is the standard amount of time; I hope judges don't have so much power they are allowed to set arbitrary deadlines, after rejecting a pro se filing for technical violations, which generally one would only expect a trained attorney to understand. 
An Appeals judge who respects due process would not issue such a ruling to a pro se litigant.

In my opinion, Judge Cleary has no respect for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s due process, no Minnesota judge does.

The Set-up

In April 2018, under then Magistrate Judge Maria Pastoor- a magistrate is a junior judge- of the First Judicial District of Minnesota, the case was restarted.

Child support had been suspended while Grazzini-Rucki made her way through the criminal justice system.

David Rucki owns a multi-million-dollar business, four homes, nine classic cars, and received not only 100% of the marital assets from corrupt Dakota judge, David Knutson, but Knutson also ordered Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to pay child support and alimony.


Pastoor even held a hearing on May 3, 2018, while Grazzini-Rucki was incarcerated without even informing her of the hearing, even acting during the hearing like Grazzini-Rucki willfully missed it.

“It is now 1:55 and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is not here. I understand that she is currently incarcerated. She could have requested to appear by telephone,” Pastoor said, Grazzini-Rucki insists she was never served with notice of the hearing while she was incarcerated.

Then, after Grazzini-Rucki left prison she filed a motion to modify custody; in July 2018, Lisa Elliott then asked for a hearing on this motion.

By this point, Minnesota 1st District Magistrate Judge Jan Davidson took over the case.

Davidson’s Orwellian Hearing and Decision

On July 18, 2018, Davidson ordered David Rucki to provide income documents, "Yep, then we need 1099s and W2's and last three paystubs," Davidson said to Elliott during this hearing.

But Rucki refused, here is the affidavit Rucki filed in support of his refusal to provide these documents.

“Michael Volpe, an investigative reporter, who lives in Chicago and is working with the petitioner.” Rucki says at one point in the affidavit.

Remarkably, here is another affidavit in which Lisa Elliott, David Rucki's attorney, cited the site which Mann operates with Brodkorb

On the one hand, David Rucki argues that media favorable to his ex-wife persecutes him, while citing as evidence media coverage favorable to him. 

I asked Elliott and Mann about all this but received no response.

A hearing was held on August 7, 2018. Here is the transcript from that hearing

At the hearing were Lisa Elliott, David Rucki, Assistant Dakota County Attorney James Donehower, and Child Support Officer Susan Loftus.

It's not clear why so many people were necessary for the hearing.
 

Grazzini-Rucki participated by phone; it started approximately forty-five minutes late and Grazzini-Rucki was given no explanation for the delay.

The hearing lasted less than twenty minutes; there was some confusion, they even talked about me, and the only person to testify was David Rucki and that was only to argue against having to provide documents. 

The hearing ended abruptly before any arguments for or against modifying custody were made. 
David Rucki has still not provided the income documents to the court. 

From that hearing, Davidson inexplicably issued an order on August 21, 2018, in which Grazzini-Rucki was to pay $215 per month.

Davidson calculated Grazzini-Rucki’s income at $1,449 per month; this is referred to as imputing income, which allows judge to assign income to people regardless of what they actually make

Davidson also assigned David Rucki an income without verification; she assigned him an income of $10,000 per month, a figure that is likely much less than reality. 
I am again mentioned in this order, “The Obligee (David Rucki) attached numerous pages to his August 2, 2018, ‘Declaration of David Rucki’, some of which reference Michael Volpe. The court informed all parties that Michael Volpe had been sending emails to the court and that the emails were not read through but had been forwarded to the supervisor.”

I was sending emails, including this one from July 14, 2018, to Davidson and others; in this email I attach this document, and ask: "Why is David Rucki claiming that his ex-wife abducted their two oldest daughters. His daughters left voluntarily. Also, where is this evidence that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is sitting on $1.8 million. How is someone with six felonies on their record supposed to get a job? Also, didn't Lisa Elliott's constant harassment of American Airline cause Sandra Grazzini-Rucki her job? Why is this motion even being heard? How far are all of willing to go for David Rucki?" 

$215 per month or any amount is ludicrous since Grazzini-Rucki does not work; she does not even ever have any stable residence; she has six felonies on her record and agents of David Rucki are always harassing anyone she associates with.

Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann are always on the lookout for her. When she was spotted in a beach front apartment unit, Brodkorb called relentlessly until Grazzini-Rucki’s friend, who lived there, was evicted.
The amount was, I believe, nothing more than a set-up to jail her.

Grazzini-Rucki made it clear in the hearing she had no income or prospects for getting one.

The Conspiracy Continues

In November, Grazzini-Rucki received a notice from Dakota County Child Support and Collections.
"Notice of Driver’s License Suspension for Non-Compliance with Payment Agreement.” Grazzini-Rucki received from the Dakota County Child Support Division. 


(The letter from Dakota County)


Steps taken to collect child support are not supposed to be punitive but coercive, how taking away someone’s driver’s license is supposed to help them pay child support is beyond me.

But Grazzini-Rucki told me she has never received any payment agreement, nor did she agree to any payment agreement as she makes nothing and can’t pay anything. 

Furthermore, it's not clear if it will only take payment of several hundred dollars to catch up. At one point, before the case was suspended in 2016, child support had Grazzini-Rucki more than $10,000 in arrears.  
When I contacted, Katie Bauer, the public information officer for the Minnesota Department of Health, which oversees the program, Melissa Froehle, a staff attorney with the Child Support Division of the Minnesota Department of Health, provided this response. 

Your request for information regarding the child support case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was forwarded to me at the Child Support Division for response,

Whether or not there is a payment agreement in place on a IV-D child support case is private welfare data on individuals that the Child Support Division cannot disclosure pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section § 13.46, subdivision 2(a).

There is general information about the process for driver’s license suspension available at the public website: https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/children-and-families/services/child-support/programs-services/drivers-license-suspension.jsp

With regard to fraud, there is a fraud reporting hotline and information available https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/office-of-inspector-general/report-fraud/.

The State of Minnesota does offer a child support formal dispute and case review complaint mechanism that an affected child support case participant can follow. It is outlined here: https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/children-and-families/services/child-support/programs-services/formal-disputes-and-case-reviews.jsp

I have since been told that the file was even sealed at David Rucki's request. He worried that private information would leak.

This is the same David Rucki who just had a book published written by Mann and Brodkorb, two people effectively on his payroll.  

Ms. Froehle said, "We cannot provide you with private case data," when I asked her to confirm if the file had been sealed at David Rucki's request.

"That's not what I asked you. Has this file been sealed by David Rucki?" I responded, somewhat garbling my meaning. 

Ms. Froehle had no further comment. 
Grazzini-Rucki’s license was suspended on December 6, and, Brodkorb has also posted something, with a peculiar note to fifty-one days, which some have interpreted to mean the date Grazzini-Rucki would be jailed. 


That is what I expect to happen next after the appeals court makes sure to improperly throw out her appeal.

Finally, prior to publication, I sent a copy of the article to Ms. Roberson-Siems, asking if there are any mistakes. She did not respond.  

For full transparency, find our entire back and forth between Roberson-Siems and I here

UPDATE:

After the article was published, I emailed Judge Cleary and received this remarkable response, "I am unavailable at this time. I will be back in chambers on Thursday, December 27."

In other words, after setting a dubious deadline of December 26 for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, it turns out he won't even be in chambers until the 27th any way. 

Talk about an ivory tower; I asked Ms. Roberson-Riems about this, but that led to an argument rather than an answer and she hung up on me.