Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!


Carver County Takes Lead Position of Counties in US Showing Signs of Corruption

Informational Hearing for Judicial Reform MN

An informational hearing for judicial reform was held at the Minnesota State Capitol November 17th, 2011 at 9 am.

The issues on topic were: 

The hearing began by reading the US Constitution. This hearing was video and audio recorded.


The audience was large, it included numerous family members, parents and other public devastated by the corruption in our judicial system of Minnesota. The behavior of the judges present who attended from the Minnesota District Judges Association (MDJA) was not received well by those in the room. These judges sat out of the way of the video camera, yet the public sitting close to them witnessed haughty and arrogant behavior about numerous issues brought up during the hearing. When the mention of the `bribes` allowed for judges in Minnesota came up these two judges laughed, smirked and shook their heads. Their arrogance was insulting to the family members and those in the room that have had their children, families and entire lives ruined as a result of this very law. This law has devastated the state of MN more than the public is aware. For grown men who represent the judicial system of Minnesota at the State Capitol and behave this way during a hearing regarding such important issues in our courts today lacks professionalism, class and sensitivity.

During the hearing one of these judges from the MDJA sat front and center answering questions and defending the judicial system and the laws in place causing such horror in our courts. This particular judge was defending the `incumbent` mention on voter ballots. He defended this issue by stating the public needs to know who is currently holding seat as judge – and that is known to the public by the incumbent mention on the ballots. He also stated that the public can be made aware of a judge with a bad reputation – and by the incumbent being on the ballots – the public can know to not vote for that particular judge.

A Minnesota senator replied the obvious, `I will bring up a case in Carver County… a recent case…` The senator spoke of the case where a citizen in Carver County is being charged for a blog outing a particular judge`s behavior.  The senator mentioned that it seems a judge will simply order his behavior to be removed from public view and charge money for it if it is not, so this argument presented today is not really the case, is it?

In response to the mention of the outrageous order from Carver County this judge replied, `I find that hard to believe`

About 5 minutes after this `unbelieving` judge got off the hot seat a gentleman nicely handed him the order signed by judge Richard Perkins from Carver County charging money for a blog. This unbelieving judge`s face flushed beet red. This same court order from Carver County removes legal and sole custody of small children from a loving mother – no law or reason supporting any ruling on the order.

Another one of Minnesota`s terrific senators stated during this hearing, `I respect the people more than I do our judicial system` This was a reality check as to why we were gathering: for the people. Not protection of a judicial system which is currently embarrassing the state of Minnesota.


Sen. Michael Jungbauer, Sen. Scott Newman and Sen. Dave Thompson really stepped up for the people of Minnesota.




Photo by Stuart Miles

Below are email  exchanges between therapist and advocate Angie Young, Kathleen Russell from the “Family Court Crisis Crowd” and Brandon Stahl, reporter with the Star Tribune.

The Family Court Crisis Crowd is more interested in the powerful connections’ interests, and “reaching out” to distressed noncustodial parents, not for the parents’ sakes (or the kids) but for the press.

Kathleen Russell runs a strategic public affairs consulting firm and is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in Marin County, California. Kathleen advocates on behalf of the Center for legislative and administrative changes that will promote judicial accountability and better protect children’s and vulnerable populations rights in the judicial system. She also works extensively with the news media to expose the national family court crisis that is generating thousands of frantic calls and emails to the Center for Judicial Excellence from distressed parents and children from across the country and beyond. Kathleen co-directed and produced the 2008 award-winning documentary Family Court Crisis: Our Children At Risk and served as creative director and writer for the companion photo exhibit entitled Family Court Crisis: Surviving A Broken System.

On the policy front, in May 2010, Kathleen organized the first-ever White House Briefing on the Family Court Crisis. She also led the Center’s 17-month legislative effort with Senator Mark Leno to secure the unanimous passage of an audit request through California’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). The audit results were released in January 2011 and showed significant problems in nearly every area measured. Kathleen also played a leadership role with Steve Burdo and Connie Valentine in passing AB 1050, and in introducing AB 612 and AB 2475, which were beaten back by the cottage industry that works in the family courts. Kathleen has been invited to address the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women about the family court crisis on March 22, 2011 with a handful of protective mothers and national colleagues who are working to expose and fix the family court crisis.

Center for Judicial Excellence

On Jul 16, 2014, at 8:16 AM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Do you have a Minnesota chapter? we have started some grass roots efforts here and have extensive horror stories regarding corruption in the judicial system.

Would love to get connected here in Minnesota!


On Monday, January 12, 2015 7:56 PM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Hi Angela- can you please call me if you have any cases there in MN where a protective parent is willing to talk with a reporter about the judicial corruption in their case?

We have a MN reporter working on this now, which is very exciting!!

Thx- Kathleen Russell 415-717-xxxx Sent from my iPhone

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:23 AM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Hi Kathleen:

Thank you so much for your response. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with you. I know you must be an extremely busy individual.

I will call you. I have the names of several individuals who has lost their children to an abuser. I have my own case, which is not as egregious as some out there, but it is a 16-year long paper trail which I hope would be helpful evidence to show the damages of this painful problem.

I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have done much research regarding all of this, and have some connections with some protective parents.

This mother (name withheld for privacy) lost her daughter, with whom she had sole custody of her whole life until age 11 when PAS was alleged she was removed from mother’s home, community, school and half-sister. She was relocated to her father’s home, and a different school and is not doing well two years later. Initially when the order came back, Mother was allowed supervised parenting time, and then every other weekend. Dad continues to interfere with what little parenting time she has. Dad hired a “psychologist” hired gun to complete an additional custody eval after the court appointed GAL recommended sole custody to mother. Of course, this hired gun sided with dad. An interesting note to this, is she and I have the same Judge, had the same attorney at the time, and the same hired gun more than a decade apart. Perhaps coincidence.

Sam Grazzini-Rucki’s divorce was finalized, and she obtained custody of her 5 children. I don’t recall specifics, but she was ordered out of her home, she had I believe a short period of time to take belongings she could carry and to have no contact with her children. Two of her children ran away, and are missing to date. The other three are not residing with dad, rather, with his sister, who had been investigated by child protection, I believe for other children. I think they may be in foster care now. Local Fox 9 did a piece on this, however, they were somewhat sensational, and we were disappointed that the focus was on PAS and in our opinion somewhat misrepresenting the situation. Sam’s girls are on the “missing” prints on our local grocery bags. I am horrified every time I get one. Attorney Michelle MacDonald, founder of Family Innocence Project (a local non-profit) has represented Sam pro bono for quite some time. She has been arrested in Court and jailed over night during a proceeding on Sam’s behalf (Lion news did a piece on that as Michelle was able to obtain video recording of the incident.) She has been sanctioned monetarily, we believe for fighting status quo. Sam is poor and homeless.

Lea Dannewitz lost her three children, did not see them for I believe a year or two, was given supervised visitation and now has sporadic time with them. Dad recently motioned the Court to deny the GAL’s recommendation that she have time with her children for Christmas. The youngest daughter was taken at such a young age; she was observed in the community holding her big sisters had calling her “mom”. Lea started a blog, many of these Minnesota cases are documented on this site. She was ordered to take down the site and continues to be sanctioned monetarily for refusing to do so. We put up a billboard advertising the site, which was takes down I believe a day and a half later, for some unknown reason. The site received 600 plus hits when the bill board was up for that short period of time.

My case, like I said, while not as egregious, has been ongoing for over 16 years, and there is a paper trail of the judge stating on record that she would not follow statute in my case, refuse to give me due process, that she knew my ex was emotionally endangering my son and he was not respecting the Courts many orders or my parental rights, and that she would not do anything about it. I can talk with you about that briefly if it would be helpful to this cause.

Those of us working tirelessly on this issue, are not making much headway. As we have grown and educated ourselves, we do understand the importance of the goal being “Judicial excellence” vs. “fighting corruption”. So we are on the same page with that.

I cannot thank you enough for your time! I will give you a call so we can touch base!

Again, thank you much!

Angie Young

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:14 PM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Thanks Angie- may I forward this email from you to the reporter, or shall we talk first? Thx- K Sent from my iPhone

From: Kathleen Russell 

Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 10:42 AM 

To: Stahl, Brandon

Subject: Fwd: Re:

Hi Brandon- I will try calling you now, but see below. Thx- K Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Angela Young <> Date: January 13, 2015 at 8:23:07 AM PST To: Kathleen Russell <> Subject: Re: Reply-To: Angela Young <  

Hi Kathleen:

Thank you so much for your response. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with you. I know you must be an extremely busy individual.

I will call you. I have the names of several individuals who has lost their children to an abuser. I have my own case, which is not as egregious as some out there, but it is a 16-year long paper trail which I hope would be helpful evidence to show the damages of this painful problem. (Full email was forwarded from above).

Sent Kathleen pic of the billboard~ on January 2014

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015 1:28 AM, angieyoung <> wrote:

Sorry, this is the last one 🙂 this is the billboard pulled Angie

Sent from my iPhone

😃 pulled in a day and a half by the powers that be- must have struck a chord:) like I said, over 600 hits on carvercountycorruption in that day and a half! Like I said though, you have made some real traction, we have been treading water. Look forward to collaborating with you! Angie

Sent from my iPhone

Corruption X

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 14, 2015, at 1:17 AM, Kathleen Russell <> wrote:

Awesome!!!  I love this!! K

Sent from my iPhone

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:05 AM, “Stahl, Brandon” <> wrote:

Hi Angie,

I’m the reporter Kathleen referenced. Might we be able to speak soon? If possible, please give me a call at 612-673-4626.

Thanks, Brandon

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:54 PM, Angela Young <> wrote:

Hi Mr. Stahl:

Thank you so much for your possible interest! I am sure you are a busy person, so let me know some days and times that work for you. I could talk tomorrow anytime after 3:00 or tonight after 5:30, Friday after 3:00. I am a mental health therapist so I run groups and sessions all day for the most part, but am also typically available between 12:30 and 1 every day. Also, any time this weekend if you are working.

Thanks in advance!

Angie Young

Star Tribune Reporter Brandon Stahl conversed with Angie Young over the phone regarding the cases and corruption identified above. He indicated he was only interested in showing children that had been harmed by the court system and didn’t want to touch Lea Dannewitz or Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s cases as they were too sensationalized.(What???) Brandon also indicated that no good could come from these stories because of Dale Nathan’s involvement as he is a disbarred attorney (Dale is actually a suspended attorney). It’s interesting that Brandon is now reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki case quite frequently.  Again, many people reached out to different media throughout this case to get this story out there. What changed his mind? Maybe that’s a question citizens should be asking him as well as other local media. Coverage regarding David Rucki and Judge Knutson is conspicuously ignored!

Judge Knutson-Usurped Court Files, Improper Assignments


Local Coverage of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s Case

Posted on November 15, 2015

Attorney, Michelle MacDonald requested a change of venue because Sandra cannot get a fair trial in Dakota County.  One of the reasons why is because MacDonald filed a civil rights lawsuit against Dakota County on March 19, 2015.  Oddly enough, that was shortly before the media suddenly took an interest in actually trying to find Samantha and Gianna Rucki, after two years of no effort by authorities.  Interesting, that there was no media interest until after MacDonald filed a lawsuit, and after MacDonald applied for an opening on the Minnesota Supreme Court on April 13, 2015.

Many in the political sphere were scared blind, when Michelle MacDonald came out of nowhere to come within 7 points of beating the incumbant, David Lillehaug, on November 4, 2014.  It seems they are still afraid.  Unfortunately, a family suffers serious consequences while political games ensue.

Does anything seem fishy about this?

If you think this case is not politically motivated, well, the police are most likely looking at timelines and Red Herring Alert can do that, too:

  • April 19, 2013-Rucki girls go missing, no media coverage or amber alert
  • May 15, 2013-FOX 9 News coverage of PAS/Grazzin-Rucki Divorce
  • April 20, 2013-December 31, 2013-Little or no investigation by authorities, little or no media coverage
  • April 19, 2014-Little or no investigation by authorities, one year anniversary, little or no media coverage
  • All of 2014-Little or no investigation by authorities, little or no media coverage
  • May 2014-MacDonald Endorsed by MN GOP
  • August 20, 2014-MacDonald banned from State Fair Booth by MNGOP
  • August 22-23, 2014-Patrick Burns offers deal and threatens MacDonald to withdraw
  • August 29, 2014-(our pal from LeftMN) Steve Timmer files complaint against MNGOP
  • September 3, 2014-MacDonald files complaint against MNGOP
  • September 9, 2014-MacDonald Complaint is dismissed
  • November 4, 2014-MacDonald closer to winning than any other state race                    (-7 point difference)
  • November 5, 2014-political power players breathe sigh of relief
  • November 5, 2014-April 19, 2015, little or no investigation, little or no media coverage
  • March 19, 2015-Michelle MacDonald files lawsuit against Dakota County
  • April 13, 2015-Michelle MacDonald applies for Minnesota Supreme Court opening
  • April 19, 2015-Police Step up efforts to find missing girls
  • April 19, 2015-media takes a sudden interest, multiple stories start and continue to this day
  • April 29, 2015-Dale Nathan provides information to the media

I don’t know about you, but I’d expect a lot more investigation around missing girls in 2013.  I also find something odd about the fact that MacDonald ran for Minnesota Supreme Court and the media covered bogus DUI charges, but mentioned nothing about the case of two missing girls.  Suddenly, simply because of the two-year anniversary (or so they say, but the one year anniversary meant nothing), the police stepped up their (previously nonexistent) effort to find the missing girls.

Let’s Get Honest! Blog

Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and “Conciliation” — Courts’ Operations, Practices, and History

These parades, charades, and facades have become a problem for the people who match the profile of what they claim to represent, “Protective Parents” and/or “Battered Mothers,” specifically. I am among that class and a witness of the practices, tactics, and censorships of dialogues involved. I believe collectively the groups involved comprise a cult, and exhibit all primary cult practices.

Before a few mental circuits of distressed parents disconnect, or melt from the heat of in “righteous indignation,” (“But my children were abused; I am an incest survivor” etc.), this post is not about whether or not incest or abuse took place in those cases, or children are being placed in the care of batterers or dangerous parents. I’m a survivor, and I know that plenty of times, abuse, sometimes incest did take place and children ARE being placed in the care of batterers.  Mine were….

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Details emerge of runaway girls’ hidden life on Minnesota ranch

The sisters were dropped off at a Herman, Minn., ranch four days after they ran away in the midst of a custody dispute, according to the criminal charges. 

By Star Tribune

The horse farm near Herman, Minn., where police found Gianna and Samantha Rucki, who went missing in April 2013. More details about the girls’ lives there are becoming known.

One of the runaway Lakeville girls discovered at a western Minnesota horse ranch last week told police that she hadn’t seen her mother “in years’’ and assumed she’d been incarcerated, according to a child protection petition filed by Dakota County.

The two girls have told investigators that they were home-schooled and assisted with chores around the ranch, where they’d lived since being dropped off there in April 2013, the petition revealed.

Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, 50, faces six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights on allegations she took her daughters Gianna and Samantha to the Herman, Minn. ranch. The girls were dropped off four days after they ran away in the midst of a custody dispute, according to the criminal charges.

Read More:

Runaway Daughters Taken to Ranch

Mother of runaway Lakeville girls took daughters to ranch, charges say

Prosecutors accuse Sandra Grazzini-Rucki of “particular cruelty.”

By Star Tribune


YouTubeSandra Grazzini-Rucki

Four days after two teens ran away from their Lakeville home, their mother and a friend took the girls to a western Minnesota horse ranch and left them there, until they were found two and a half years later, according to amended criminal charges released Monday.

The discovery of Gianna and Samantha Rucki last week led to three additional charges for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, 50, who was arrested on Oct. 18 and now faces six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights. A search warrant of a St. Cloud home raided last month shows Lakeville police and U.S. marshals worked for months to build a case against Grazzini-Rucki and then track her down to a Florida resort and spa.

Should Grazzini-Rucki be convicted, the county is seeking an aggravated sentence against her, saying she caused the girls’ father “particular cruelty” for depriving him of the girls for two years.

David Rucki has “suffered extreme emotional pain beyond what is normal for this crime,” Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena wrote in a notice to the court filed last week.

Read More: 

Throwback Thursday

Horrifying Video Of Alleged Sexual Assault While Family Court Judge Literally Looks The Other Way

Reblogged from Above the Law

Jun 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM

 A disturbing video is making its way around social media today. It’s a six-minute family court video from August 2011 of a woman who complains that a marshal sexually assaulted her in a back room. The woman becomes increasingly agitated as the marshal, who is in the courtroom, then arrests her for “making false allegations about a police officer,” all while the magistrate plays with the woman’s child, at least until the child begs the arresting officer to not take her momma away.

It’s really tough to watch. Even I became emotional while watching the clip. And the marshal has since been dismissed. Most of the internet outrage is focused on the cop. Me, I can honestly say that after watching this I wish nothing but the absolute worst for Clark County Hearings Master Patricia Doninger. I think I’d rather see Edith Jones on the Supreme freaking Court than have this person “preside” over a game of Family Feud, much less be within shouting distance of a family court…

The video is safe for work, but again feels more like a snuff film than a courtroom video. You’re watching a helpless person get violated by the system in real time:

KLAS-TV, which broke the story, describes what happened. A woman named Monica Contreras was in court with her daughter trying to vacate a temporary restraining order her ex-husband had sought to obtain. He didn’t show, and the order was denied, but here’s what happened next:

According to internal court documents, as Contreras was leaving, family court marshal Ron Fox ordered her into a waiting room for an unexplained drug search.

Contreras said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims. Contreras went back into the same courtroom and told hearing master Patricia Donninger that her requests to have a female marshal handle the search were ignored.

Hearing Master Doninger won’t even look at Contreras. You can see it on the tape. During some of her complaints, Doninger is playing with Contreras’s daughter.

Then Fox decides to arrest her for “making false allegations about a police officer,” which is not a crime that anybody can find. Doninger does nothing. In fact, she physically turns her chair away from Contreras, as she doesn’t want to see the horror she is allowing to take place.

KLAS didn’t obtain the video until March 2013, though Contreras had filed a complaint with internal affairs sometime before that. Contreras filed a lawsuit in April, and Gawker posted the video today, which is why everybody knows about it now.

But it also means that Doninger has been sitting on the bench for almost two years since this incident, with no investigation, review, or punishment for her disgraceful behavior caught on video.

What kind of system are we running here? I get that bad people slip through the cracks. But it’s been two years and Doninger, this magistrate who literally turned her back on a woman who was molested in her own courtroom, still has a job?

Could we at least get somebody sitting in her courtroom tomorrow to make sure Doninger isn’t looking away as people are violated right in front of her?

I-Team: Taxpayers Could Foot the Bill in Alleged Sexual Assault [KLAS-TV]
Judge Ignores Pleas of Woman Arrested for Protesting Sexual Assault


November 19, 2015 4:23 PM MST


The Rucki sisters have been found after they went missing two years ago. They ran away from home during a bitter custody battle between their mother and father. They were found safe and healthy on a horse farm in Minnesota.
YouTube screen shot (3)



Land of the Unfree – Police and Prosecutors Fight Aggressively to Retain Barbaric Right of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”

Efforts to limit seizures of money, homes and other property from people who may never be convicted of a crime are stalling out amid a wave of pressure from prosecutors and police.

Their effort, at least at the state level, appears to be working. At least a dozen states considered bills restricting or even abolishing forfeiture that isn’t accompanied by a conviction or gives law enforcement less control over forfeited proceeds. But most measures failed to pass.

– From the Wall Street Journal article: Efforts to Curb Asset Seizures by Law Enforcement Hit Headwinds

The fact that civil asset forfeiture continues to exist across the American landscape despite outrage and considerable media attention, is as good an example as any as to how far fallen and uncivilized our so-called “society” has become. It also proves the point demonstrated in a Princeton University study that the U.S. is not a democracy, and the desires of the people have no impact on how the country is governed.

Civil asset forfeiture was first highlighted on these pages in the 2013 post, Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas, in which I explained:

In a nutshell, civil forfeiture is the practice of confiscating items from people, ranging from cash, cars, even homes based on no criminal conviction or charges, merely suspicion. This practice first became widespread for use against pirates, as a way to take possession of contraband goods despite the fact that the ships’ owners in many cases were located thousands of miles away and couldn’t easily be prosecuted. As is often the case, what starts out reasonable becomes a gigantic organized crime ring of criminality, particularly in a society where the rule of law no longer exists for the “elite,” yet anything goes when it comes to pillaging the average citizen.

One of the major reasons these programs have become so abused is that the police departments themselves are able to keep much of the confiscated money. So they actually have a perverse incentive to steal. As might be expected, a program that is often touted as being effective against going after major drug kingpins, actually targets the poor and disenfranchised more than anything else.

Civil asset forfeiture is state-sanctioned theft. There is no other way around it. The entire concept violates the spirit of the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution. In case you have any doubt:

The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The 6th Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

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