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The Provocateur

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Examining the Assault on Dede Evavold's First Amendment Rights

(David Rucki's Favorite Judge, Karen Asphaug)

Even though all Dede Evavold did was re-post an article already posted elsewhere, numerous Minnesota courts blatantly ignored her fist amendment rights, while first charging her criminal and then issuing a fifty-year protective order.

The whole thing started when David Rucki asked for and received an emergency harassment order because he claimed Evavold’s blogging harassed him.

“Respondent has engaged in online harassment of myself and my family in direct violation of court ordered probation. Respondent continues to post to a blog owned by Respondent about myself and my family, including false allegations, photos, and identifying information.”

At the time, and now, Dede Evavold was on criminal probation so, if in fact as David Rucki stated, she was violating that probation, she should have had that probation violated, but she didn’t.

Furthermore, while Evavold did operate the now defunct, as a result of this, website Red Herring Alert, Rucki does not list any of the offending posts which defamed him, or provided personal information.

Furthermore, most of the harassment order application is blank: because Evavold never confronted him in public, called him by phone, emailed him, no other threatening behavior, nor had she tried to visit him at home.
In other words, though David Rucki said this, “My children are frightened and feel their privacy has been violated,” this was not through any direct contact, but David Rucki was arguing that blog posts frightened his children, and violated their privacy.

This even though he has been featured on 20/20, had Michael Brodkorb’s website dedicated to his case, and was cooperating with Brodkorb on a book which would be completed more than a year later. Furthermore, Red Herring Alert averaged less than one thousand clicks daily: TOTAL.

 Not only was his harassment order granted, but it was granted on an emergency basis, ex parte by Judge Karen Asphaug. That is the recently retired, early, former Judge Karen Asphaug.

Asphaug appeared to be something akin to a personal judge for David Rucki. In 2009, he screamed and swore uncontrollably at two and three year olds, he even said to adults he dared to call the cops, "If any of you assholes ever call the police on me again, I'll raise holy hell."

That case also came in front of Judge Asphaug, after David Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct.

On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, despite no motion to dismiss being in front of her- called sua sponte- and even though there was numerous witnesses so that probable cause standard should have been met.

David Rucki's two oldest daughters- Samantha and Gianna- ran on April 19, 2013, because they were going to be forced to live with their father. Samantha describes why they ran below. The legal system in Minnesota- which has always catered to David Rucki- charged four people with crimes after the girls were found in November 2015.

His ex-wife, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Evavold, and Doug and Gina Dahlen, with whom the girls stayed.

Asphaug presided over all four cases and in a heavy handed manner, made sure any evidence of abuse was excluded from the case. In a sweeping motion in limine which she granted for the prosecution, I described the mountain of evidence Asphaug excluded here.

She also sentenced Evavold and Grazzini-Rucki to the maximum, one year and one day, even though neither had any criminal record and even ordered Grazzini-Rucki to serve it bits at a time over six years, while giving Evavold and eight year probation.

So, it's no surprise that she granted this emergency harassment order, ex-parte, even though the only harassment alleged was somehow through blog posts on an obscure blog.

Remarkably, as the presiding judge over Evavold's case, if Asphaug really believed she'd violated her probation terms, as Rucki suggested, she should have given her a probation vioation, not a harassment order.

The harassment order was indeed overkill because Evavold was restricted in which she could say by her probation.

Still on February 12, 2018, David Rucki's attorney filed an emergency motion asking for an emergency hearing. That motion is below.
Remarkably, this motion was due to a blog posts published months earlier, and the blog post had been republished from another site.

The title of the blog post is, "Beaten Before Born: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Assaulted While Pregnant
 –Rucki Wanted to Kill Baby Because ‘Wasn’t Perfect’, and it describes how David Rucki raped his then wife during their marriage. 

Remarkably, this particular article remains published on its original website and on my website and no one has ever asked me to remove it. 

Still, Elliott treated this very seriously, stating in her emergency motion, 

"Ordering Respondent to immediately remove the entire post titled “Beaten Before Born: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Assaulted While Pregnant–Rucki Wanted to Kill Baby Because ‘Wasn’t Perfect.’”, dated December 18, 2017,from the Red Herring Alert Blog and /or any subsequent revisions to the post along with any reposts and/or posts to Facebook and Twitter."

This set off a flurry of activity which eventually led to Evavold's arrest.  One offending blog posts, which was simply a repost, turned into eighteen offending blog posts, with Lisa Elliott demanding Evavold remove more and more, as Evavold removed these blog posts. 

The series of events are described on a subsequent unpublished opinion written by Judge Diane Bratvold (you can't be too proud of the opinion you wrote if you make it unpublished)

"The district court conducted an evidentiary hearing. Respondents relied on the affidavit and copies of the 18 posts from Evavold's blog. Evavold testified that she 'removed {Rucki's} address from the December post but admitted she did not otherwise change the post. In a written order, the district court found Evavold 'is in constructive civil contemtp' and instructed her to remove the 18 posts. Evavold did not comply with the order, and the district court subsequently issued a warrant for her arrest. She was taken into custody, but was conditionally releasted a few days later after the district court found she was attempting to comply with the court's order."

Kanning's order was so cursory- that order is found here-  that an attorney Evavold was able to secure argued that the judge was required to show more work. His argument is below. 

Objections by mikekvolpe on Scribd
 Her attorney stated in part, "The blog posts, because they are not fighting words or true threats, do not constitute harassment under Minnesota law. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has analyzed the breadth of the statute in connection with a First Amendment challenge to Minn. Stat. § 609.748 and concluded that the statute only 'fighting words' or 'true threats' are covered. Dunham v. Roer, 708 N.W.2d 552, 566 (Minn. App. 2006) (“Because the harassment statute only regulates speech or conduct that constitutes 'fighting words,' 'true threats,' or substantial invasions of one's privacy, we conclude that the statute is narrowly tailored and is, therefore, constitutional.”) Id. In considering the statute as narrowly tailored, the Court of Appeals excluded the kind of interpretation used by Petitioners here."

That appeal was also denied, with the appeal's court finding no sympathy toward Evavold's 1st amendment rights, "Here the district court denied Evavold's motion to vacate the HRO after finding that Evavold's conditions of probation were 'no contact' with the Rucki children and that 'she was prohibited from referring to the children on social media.' The district court found that Evavold 'violated the terms of her probation by posting photos and information about the Rucki family. These postings included many references about David Rucki and his children.' The district court also found that Evavold 'has effective control over the postings on the {Evavold's blog}.' The court finally found that Evavold's conduct in making her posting was 'intended to terrify, threaten, and invade the privacy of {Rucki} and his minor children' and concluded that Evavold's conduct was 'harassment most evil'"

Get that, you can frighten people with blog posts on an obscure blog and it is "harassment most evil" even if you don't ever make contact with any of those you are accused of harassing.

Indeed, Minnesota even tried to charge Evavold criminally for all this.

The docket is below. As you will see by examining it, the state took the case until a trial date was scheduled, then it was cancelled on the eve of trial, and then dismissed.
Meanwhile, the HRO which Rucki had first filed in July 2017, was nearly about to expire.

In fact, the appeals court which gave no sympathy to Evavold's 1st amendment argument, only issued its decision on July 15, 2019, by the end of the month, that would expire.

Of course, the court caters to David Rucki so he reached out to his favorite Judge, Karen Asphaug, and on September 19, 2019, just two months after it had expired, Asphaug re-issued to harassment restraining order for another fifty years, to end in 2069, without even conducting a hearing, just responding to Lisa Elliott's motion.
Extended HRO by mikekvolpe on Scribd
Now, Evavold can't say Rucki's name or anyone related to the case for fifty years. Approximately a month and a half, on October 31, 2019, Judge Karen Asphaug announced she would be retiring from the bench early.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Bitcoin Used in Money Laundering Scheme

The article is here. 

Crypto-Currency Scam Targets Physicians

The article is here. 

Joseph Marcy's Conviction Vacated

A Pennsylvania man convicted of molesting his daughter has taken a giant step toward freedom.

Joseph Marcy was featured in my article in The Daily Caller in January.

In 2012, he was convicted of molesting his daughter, but shortly after his conviction, she recanted.

Here is more from the article.

Marcy said shortly after his conviction he received a letter from a relative stating that his daughter had recanted.
John Hakim, an attorney in Pennsylvania assigned to handle Marcy’s appeal, said the letter would not have been enough on its own to file an appeal, but it led to a full investigation before he filed an appeal, known as a Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition.
Hakim said he faced an uphill battle, “PCRA to get a victory in one is pretty rare. It is not a common occurrence.”
In 2015, a PCRA hearing was held in front of the same judge, Judge Joseph Augello, who presided over the criminal trial.
The Luzerne County DA also argued that Marcy’s daughter described her abuse at trial in graphic detail, something she wouldn’t be able to do if it was fabricated.
“She recalled that she previously testified the Defendant peed in her mouth, that she made a hand motion on his ‘pickle’, that the Defendant’s ‘pickle’ was hairy and that his ‘pickle’ went in her butt,” the DA said in their appeal, “However, she said those things were lies. But when asked how she would know those things as a six year old, i.e. that liquid would go in her mouth, that the Defendant’s ‘pickle’ was hairy, to make a hand motion, and that his ‘pickle’ was in her butt, she could not say how she knew those things.”
Hakin said that while the DA’s office made those arguments, the judge heard their argument, the recantation, and the judge determined the recantation was credible.

The conviction was vacated in 2015, but Marcy remained in prison under a bond he couldn't afford.

The prosecutors appealed the decision and another appeals court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, reinstated the conviction on a legal technicality.

Rather than addressing the substance of the recantation, the Pennsylvania Superior Court argued that Marcy did not submit his appeal in time.

In 2017, he appealed to the federal system.

His appeal wound up in front of Magistrate William Arbuckle however his appeal languished from May 2017 until 2020 with no resolution.

On February 7, 2020, Judge Arbuckle rendered his decision which is below.
Marcy Court by mikekvolpe on Scribd
In the decision, Judge Arbuckle states, "Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, upon consideration of this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and the Response in Opposition to this Petition, IT IS RECOMMENDED that


The Petition (Doc. 1) be CONDITIONALLY GRANTED;
(2)Petitioner’s conviction and sentence be VACATED;
(3)The Commonwealth be directed to either retry Petitioner within 120days, or release the petitioner; and,
(4) The Clerk of Court be directed to CLOSE this case.

While good news for Marcy, this is not the end of the appeals process. Both sides have twenty days from Judge Arbuckle's order to challenge. If the prosecution does challenge the decision, a full district judge will decide after that. 

Marcy remains in prison however because his daughter has recanted if this decision does stand it will render any new trial unworkable and he should be home within 120 days of the order becoming final. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020