(Minnesota Judge Philip Kanning)
The Rucki child support matter has gone from bizarre to downright comical as everyone from the County attorney, to the County prosecutor, and numerous judges have weighed in on a matter of $215 per month to be paid out to a multi-millionaire with four homes.
When last we left off, Minnesota Appeals Court Judge Edward Cleary had rejected Sandra "Sam" Grazzini-Rucki's appeal as defective on December 14, 2018.
He gave Ms. Grazzini-Rucki six business days, or December 26, 2018, to file an appropriate appeal even though he was out of his chambers until December 27.
Meanwhile, in October, Ms. Grazzini-Rucki filed a separate motion to reinstate her license, which the county took great pains to suspend, after she fell behind, with the District Court.
That motion sat untouched until late January, and only after a series of phone calls did the District court schedule a hearing for February 12, 2019.
Her child support case has been handled by Magistrate (a junior judge) Judge Jan Davidson, but Judge Davidson will not hear this motion.
According to Heidi Carstenson, the court administrator for the Minnesota judiciary, this is because Grazzini-Rucki's motion deals with more than child support.
This appears to be because David Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki's ex-husband, refuses to allow her license to be reinstated, but when he fell behind on child support, he was treated far differently.
Early on, in a hearing on August 17, 2011, when Grazzini-Rucki had physical custody of the five children, her then attorney, Kathleen Graves noted, "Mr. Rucki is not paying any child support, isn't paying any spousal maintenance, isn't paying any kind of support to the children whatsoever."
This was heard in front of Judge David Knutson, who would later award David Rucki sole custody and 100% of the couple's multi-million dollar estate.
Knutson never sanctioned Rucki for his failure to pay child support and even ordered that his license not be taken when he fell behind.
Now, not only is the court proceeding with sanctions against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki but David Rucki is not only being represented by his attorney, Lisa Elliott, but by the county, in the form of James Donehower, the Dakota County attorney, who has filed a brief in conjunction with Elliott on David Rucki's behalf. See the brief below.
donehower by on ScribdI asked Donehower, Katie Bauer, a public affairs officer for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and Melissa Froehle, a staff attorney with Minnesota DHS, why the county had an interest in helping with this case.
James Backstrom, the Dakota County Prosecutor, responded.
Dakota County has received your January 29, 2019 telephone inquiry regarding Minnesota Court of Appeals case A18-1721. This e-mail is the County’s response to your inquiry. I understand that you are asking two related questions: (1) Why did the County file a brief in this case? and (2) What is the County’s interest in this matter?
State and federal laws prevent Dakota County from discussing or disclosing the details of a specific child support matter with someone who is not a party to that action. Therefore, this communication provides general information regarding the role pubic authorities (Dakota County in this case) have in child support enforcement (IV-D services) matters under Minnesota and federal law.
Dakota County is a public authority responsible for providing child support enforcement services. Provision of child support services by the public authority is required under 42 U.S.C section 654. When providing these services, Dakota County is a separate and independent party to any child support related legal action, which includes proceedings in appellate courts. The Dakota County Attorney’s Office represents only the public authority, Dakota County, and does not represent either parent. See, Minn. Stat. section 518A.47
Under Minnesota Statutes section 518A.49 (b), the County is a party in interest in each case where there has been an assignment of child support. In other cases, the County can and does intervene in a case to ensure that child support orders are obtained and enforced which provides for an appropriate and accurate level of child support. The County’s obligation to perform these duties extends also to appellate matters.
We will not be responding to any further questions concerning this matter.
Only the county knows why they did not help Sandra Grazzini-Rucki when David Rucki failed to pay approximately $10,000 per month in child support and maintenance in 2011.
Meanwhile, since the issue is now more than child support, a District Judge will have to hear the matter on February 12.
The District Court judge assigned to the Rucki divorce now is Judge Phillip Kanning, but he won't hear it.
According to Carstenson, that's because Kanning is on a three month vacation which makes sense since he is a retired judge.
As a result, another judge was assigned to hear this motion, Judge Kathleen Gearin. Gearin is no stranger to corrupt rulings in the Rucki case; in June, she put Dede Evavold in jail for four days because Evavold had posted blogs on her blog, Red Herring Alert, which offended David Rucki and his attorney; they complained and Gearin had Evavold jailed.
Coincidentally or not, Gearin, like Kanning, is a retired judge as well.
Meanwhile, the appeal continues to languish without a ruling even after Judge Cleary gave Sandra Grazzini-Rucki six business days to complete it.
In August, Judge Davidson issued a bizarre ruling ordering Grazzini-Rucki to pay $215 per month in child support.
The ruling was bizarre because Davidson did not require either parent to provide income documents and guessed, called imputing income, the income for both. She set David Rucki at $10,000 per month and set Sandra Grazzini-Rucki at $1,449 per month.
Grazzini-Rucki is now considered a six time felon with little job prospects, so that $1,449 is much higher than she actually earns.
David Rucki has four homes including the one below.
Minnesota's Wealthiest welfare recipient RUCKI second of 4 homes. 5 beds 2.5 bath. All at Mn taxpayers expense. He claims poverty in court, per court docs. #grazzinirucki #evavold pic.twitter.com/H1N8qyYI8N— Jane Johnson (@johnsonmedia2) June 8, 2018
I asked Backstrom and Dakota County Prosecutor's press person, Monica Jensen, why they have championed David Rucki in his quest to collect on $215 per month but sat by while David Rucki refused to pay approximately $10,000 per month (what Davidson now claims is his monthly income) in child support and alimony, but received no response.
Though she has not seen any of her five children since early 2013, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki's parental rights have not been terminated; coincidentally or not, if they had, she would not be required to pay child support.