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Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

Get the Down and Dirty from Dakota County …

Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

** BREAKING NEWS ** From Michael Volpe and PPJ Gazette reporting on the appellate cases of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold

“In separate response briefs to pro se attorneys, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office has acknowledged jury tampering, misdirected an allegation of witness tampering, and refused to respond to address all allegations of judicial misconduct in the Rucki case.

The briefs from Dakota County Prosecutor James Backstrom were in response to briefs filed by Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, both representing themselves.

(James Backstrom)

Evavold has been representing herself after the state ruled her too well off to receive an attorney while Grazzini-Rucki was represented but was so disgusted by her attorney’s brief that she filed one on her own.

Her attorney, Steven Russett, who was provided by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office, did not respond to an email and voicemail for comment.

In the most startling admission, the prosecutors acknowledge- responding to Grazzini-Rucki- that a reporter approached the jury while they were in a common area during a lunch break and asked if any wanted to be interviewed when the trial ended.

The reporter’s name is Laura Adelmann, who works for the Sun Current, the hometown newspaper of Lakeville, Minnesota, where the Rucki’s live. “There was one occasion during trial in which it was it was reported to Judge Asphaug that a reporter (I.E. Laura Adelmann) had approached the jurors while they were eating in the common area of the courthouse and asked if she could interview them after the trial was over.” Backstrom’s brief stated.

 This incident occurred on Friday July 18, 2016, while the trial was ongoing, and on Monday July 21, 2016, Judge Asphaug issued this statement to the court gallery.

I also received information that a member of the press approached our jurors last week and asked if jurors would be willing to speak after the trial. It is- I am ordering that you may not approach the jurors in the common area of the courthouse. It is- it has a chilling effect. It concerns jurors don’t do it.” An email to Adelmann was left unreturned. A voicemail to her editor, Tad Johnson, was also left unreturned.

(Judge Asphaug)

Though the trial was covered internationally there was not one story which referred to Asphaug’s statement while the trial was ongoing.

Emails to Karen Zamora and Brandon Stahl, who each covered parts of the trial for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, were left unreturned.

An email to Michael Brodkorb, who has boasted that he covered each day of the trial, was also left unreturned.

Emails to 20/20 host, Elizabeth Vargas, and her two producers, Beth Mullin and Sean Dooley, were also left unreturned; 20/20 covered parts of the trial though it’s not clear if they were there that day.

Beau Berentson said “Our office does not conduct legal research,” in an email.

But when asked if an investigation had been started or if anyone had been disciplined for allowing press to get so close to the jury- a major break in protocol according to everyone this reporter spoke with- Berentson did not respond.

While lawyers who spoke with this reporter said it was unprecedented that press would ever get so close to a jury during trial, they were split on its significance.

Michael McCray, a United States Department of Agriculture whistleblower and lawyer, said he believed that such an interaction would cause all sorts of thoughts to enter a jury’s head “not one will be about the merits of the case.”

Lee Dryer is a Nashville attorney and part-time judge.

No trial is perfect,” Dryer said, but was less concerned since nothing about the case was discussed.

Dryer said he was more concerned with an allegation of witness tampering; Samantha Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter who ran away, responded to Kelli Coughlin a Lakeville Police Department Detective, who asked her if she was at a police interview conducted approximately a month before her mother’s trial.

This police interview occurred approximately a month prior to her mother’s trial on June 30, 2016.

“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.” Samantha responded when asked if she was at the interview of her own free will.

Judge Asphaug refused to allow the interview into Grazzini-Rucki’s trial, Samantha Rucki testified by Skype, with her aunt, grandmother, and attorney in the same room but not in camera, her father was listening in from outside the door.

(David Rucki)

Furthermore, Judge Asphaug would only allow a limited number of questions. Samantha then downplayed the abuse and claimed she ran away to get away from a bad divorce.

Dryer said that having Samantha testify by Skype raises sixth amendment issues, of a defendant confronting their accuser.

Judge Asphaug argued that Samantha was too fragile to see her mother, but child rape victims are forced to confront their alleged rapist if that rapist is to be convicted.

In their response brief, prosecutors argued that since they weren’t directly involved in the witness tampering, they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Appellant (Evavold) fails to detail what misconduct Respondent (Dakota County Prosecutor) engaged in. In support of her argument, Appellant points to an interview that was conducted by law enforcement of SVR (Samantha). Appellant is under the misbelief that Respondent somehow coerced SVR into providing the statement and that SVR lied in the statement.

The prosecutor’s brief only alludes to a police interview but does not detail what Samantha said in the interview.

Dede Evavold also argued that there was judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, charges not answered by Backstrom.

Judge Asphaug placed herself on Evavold’s, Grazzini-Rucki’s, and the Dahlen’s cases, and refused to recuse herself when each of the four defendants asked.

Furthermore, in 2010, she appears to have fixed a case for David Rucki.

On September 8, 2009, David Rucki went into a fit of rage against his neighbors while they were escorting approximately a dozen two and three-year-old children to the daycare facility they ran.

Complainant stated his wife, two children, and six daycare kids ages three and under were in the driveway when suspect (David Rucki) approached. He stated the suspect threatened his wife, his son, and called them all assholes while standing in the cul-de-sac in front of their home. While I was speaking with the complainant, he informed me that the suspect drove by as we were speaking and put up his middle finger on his left hand at him. Complainant said that they have had on-going harassment type issues with the suspect and his dogs as a result of operating a home daycare facility. He said suspect’s dogs repeatedly come into his yard when daycare parents and kids arrive, barking and growling and the guests as the children are dropped off. He said they have tried to talk to the suspect in the past to mediate the situation, but that he no longer feels comfortable due to elevated language and behavior.

Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct and the case came in front of Judge Asphaug. On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, an inexplicable decision which has never been explained.

Lack of probable cause applies to cases with little or no evidence not an incident witnessed by several adults and approximately twelve children. Furthermore, if a case is dismissed due to a lack of probable cause it would be during normal pre-trial hearings, not on the eve of trial, and there’s no evidence that any sort of motion was even filed to trigger this.

Asphaug proceeded to exclude approximately 90% of the evidence of abuse: including David Rucki’s police report, all Child Protective Services reports, all orders for protection against David Rucki, and letters, from Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s, Dede Evavold’s, and the Dahlen’s trials.

Backstrom’s office provided answers to most of the charges of judicial misconduct but not all.

For instance, in their reply brief, the prosecution claims that Grazzini-Rucki only referred to three items as being excluded: The Fox 9 Newscast from June 2013, the GPS tracker from when David Rucki placed a tracker under Grazzini-Rucki’s friend and advocate’s car, Michael Rhedin, and Social Services records.

(Prosecutor Kathryn Keena)

But while Grazzini-Rucki did complain about these, and their exclusion is significant, police reports, letters, and other recordings were also excluded; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki complained of clear judicial bias.

The prosecution downplayed in its brief the breadth of the evidence excluded during trial.

Backstrom’s office did not respond to emails for comment.”

 

Censorship

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without fear or interference. Well, ALMOST everyone.

Probation Conditions in State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Elise Evavold- Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227

“You will not reference any of the XXXXXXXX-XXXXX family on any social media.”

I previously posted a press release on Darren Chaker, who reversed his conviction in federal court on First Amendment grounds. A Good Day For The First Amendment.

After corresponding with Mr. Chaker regarding my own First Amendment violations as well as numerous other violations in my case, I was enlightened further about our inherent rights.  See Below

“Rights might be inherent, but ideas need to be taught.” Maida Buckley, retired classroom teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Focusing on the First Amendment issue,  I see a few flaws in Condition 2 preventing referencing to specific people in social media:  Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227

What if you want to criticize the police/DA, the judicial process, etc but cannot even reference to your case since it makes reference to the names of the people you cannot make reference to? Suspicion that viewpoint discrimination is afoot is at its zenith when the speech restricted is speech critical of the government because criticism of government is at the very center of the constitutionally protected area of free discussion. Chaker v. Crogan, 428 F.3d 1215, 1217, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 23728, *1, 33 Media L. Rep. 2569 (9th Cir. Cal. 2005)​ Yes that is my first First Amendment case where I overruled the California Supreme Court. See also, https://www.scribd.com/document/3698825/Press-Release-CAL-SUPREME-COURT-Reversed-by-Chaker-v-Crogan

Additionally, you have a First Amendment right to re-distribute information contained in a public record.

     Preventing Blogging is Not a Governmental Interest.

For government to regulate speech, it must be “integral to criminal conduct.” United States v. Meredith, 685 F.3d 814, 819, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13012, 7, 2012-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,421, 110 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 5157 (9th Cir. Cal. 2012) Typically, restriction of speech concerns a gang member not associating with other gang member; a child pornographer being monitored or restricted from the internet, defendant not speaking to victims, etc. The only nontypical First Amendment challenge relates to a defendant speaking or writing about the unconstitutionality of tax laws and was reversed, but prohibiting advocating tax evasion was affirmed. Speech is presumptively protected by the First Amendment. The burden is on the government to show that a defendant’s website is within one of the narrow categories of unprotected speech. United States v. Carmichael, 326 F. Supp. 2d 1267, 1270, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13675, 1 (M.D. Ala. 2004) The Government would in its burden as it did not prove the speech at issue would be outside the scope of the First Amendment.

Suppressing speech rarely is justified by an interest in deterring criminal conduct, and in any event the justification “must be ‘far stronger than mere speculation about serious harms”’ and supported by “empirical evidence” Barnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S 514, 530-32, 121 S.Ct 1753, 1763-64, 149 L Ed 2d 787 (2001) (citing U.S v. Treasury Employees, 513 U S 454, 475 (1995))  

Protecting Reputation is Not a Government Interest.

If the Government were to say, ‘the families have been through enough and do not want to cause embarrassment or harm to there reputation’ – such would not be a proper Governmental interest. Specifically, protecting ones reputation is not a governmental function unless it violates criminal law.  United v. Alvarez, 617 F. 3d 1198. (Stolen Valor Act held unconstitutional) “At issue here is the First Amendment exception that allows the government to regulate speech that is integral to criminal conduct. . . .” Id. at 819-20. United States v. Osinger, 753 F.3d 939, 946, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10377, 17-20, 2014 WL 2498131 (9th Cir. Cal. 2014)

Further, you have the right to attack people if you believe such behavior was unethical. See Wait v. Beck’s N. Am., Inc., 241 F. Supp. 2d 172, 183 (N.D.N.Y. 2003) (“[A s]tatement[] that someone has acted . . . unethically generally [is] constitutionally protected statements of opinion.”); Biro, 883 F. Supp. 2d at 463 (“[T]he use of the terms ‘shyster,’ ‘conman,’ and finding an ‘easy mark’ is the type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘imaginative expression’ that is typically understood as a statement of opinion.” (quoting Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 20)).

 Loss of Privacy Due to High Profile Case.

Also, due to all of the publicity in the case, it is likely the names you cannot blog about are deemed public figures. Public figures are entitled to less protection against defamation and invasion of privacy than are private figures with respect to the publication of false information about them. Carafano v. Metrosplash, Inc., 207 F. Supp. 2d 1055, 1059, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10614, 1, 30 Media L. Rep. 1577 (C.D. Cal. 2002)

         

Purpose of Probation is to Rehabilitate and Prevent Future Criminal Conduct, Blogging is Neither.

Consideration of three factors is required to determine whether a reasonable relationship exists: (1) the purposes sought to be served by probation; (2) the extent to which constitutional rights enjoyed by law-abiding citizens should be accorded to probationers; and (3) the legitimate needs of law enforcement. (Citation omitted.) United States v. Pierce, 561 F.2d 735, 739 (9th Cir. 1977). United States v. Lowe, 654 F.2d 562, 567, 1981 U.S. App. LEXIS 18287, 11 (9th Cir. Wash. 1981) See also, United States v. T.M., 330 F.3d 1235, 1240 (9th Cir. 2003) (“The conditions imposed run afoul of the supervised release statute because there is no reasonable relationship between them and either deterrence, public protection or rehabilitation.”)


“The Minnesota legislature delegated the authority to prosecute criminal matters to the county attorney, who was elected by the voters of that county.”

But, according to the Minnesota Attorney General’s website, the office does sometimes get involved in criminal matters:

The Dahlens have pled guilty in an associated case for their role xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxx, while another defendant, Dede Evavold, was found guilty as well. Inexplicably, Judge Karen Asphaug presided over all four cases.

A message left with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office concerning the current legal situation was left unreturned. An email to Laura Flanders was also left unreturned and an email left with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office was also left unreturned. The current Minnesota Attorney General is Democrat Lori Swanson, and she has held that position since 2007.


Excerpts from The “Justice” blog authored by an anonymous group of concerned citizens.
The Attorney General’s Office has been receiving documentation concerning the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX case for over 5 years and has refused to investigate or take any action in the face of serious allegations, and evidence, showing corruption in local government and law enforcement. However, when opposing President Trump’s immigrant order, Lori Swanson said “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security.” The same can be said for Dakota County; yet instead of taking a public stance on a very real concern that affects not only the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX family but the entire state of Minnesota, and possibly tens of thousands of families victimized by an out of control court system, Swanson remains silent. Now is a time for leadership, not silence.

Another article written by Michael Volpe on indicates that other MN citizens have encountered the same type of cover-up by the MN Attorney General’s Office.
Excerpts Below:
The tact does not surprise John Hentges, another parent battling court officials on behalf of his children and suffering from disingenuous actions by the court, who told CDN that rather than representing the people of Minnesota the office covers up and represents the corrupt public officials.

“I reported the corruption to her (Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General) and to the governor and to the Minnesota Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” Hentges.

Hentges said he spent time in jail for failure to pay child support for a bill which had already been paid in another state and his trials in the Minnesota Justice System opened his eyes.

“I found several other things they were doing in the criminal justice system.” Hentges said. “I firmly believe that nearly every single case in the 1st Judicial District is fixed in one way or another.”

 

THE FIX

August 01, 2016  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki story/The Fix.   Podcasts: Archived programs

 August 01, 2016  Sandra Grazzini-Rucki story/The Fix

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/22387094

 

More on Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s Guilty Verdict

SGR PIC

From Michael Volpe:

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty of hiding her daughters from their father. The decision came after the judge disallowed the majority of her defense’s evidence.

 

Investigative Reports on Grazzini-Rucki Case

Rucki girls would “suffer physical, sexual, and emotional abuse if returned to their father.”

Abuse of Power in Grazzini-Rucki Case

Blogtalkradio TS Radio: Mike Volpe reports on the Rucki divorce/custody case | The PPJ Gazette

Hosted by Marti Oakley  Follow

M. Volpe

Click to listen to podcast:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2016/05/23/ts-radio-mike-volpe-reports-on-the-rucki-divorcecustody-case

__________________________________________

Mike Volpe joins the show to report on the Rucki divorce/custody case here in Minnesota.  After an April 8, 2016 on 20/20, where Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was interviewed, it is uncertain what the actual situation is.  Why didn’t the court respect the wishes of the girls allowing them to live with their mother?  Why did the court give custody to the father who had a history of abusive behavior, documented in police reports?

“Despite his history, David Rucki currently has sole custody of their five children; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki last saw her children in early 2013 and she is scheduled to go on trial for parental interference for her alleged role in her two daughters’ more than two-year disappearance.

The Rucki family came to the attention of the media when the two oldest daughters ran away on April 19, 2013, after their pleas to live with their mother were shut down repeatedly by the court.

They remained missing until November 2015, when U.S. marshals discovered them on a farm in Herman, Minnesota”

Read more at  http://www.commdiginews.com/news-2/police-reports-paint-disturbing-minnesota-family-court-picture-62949/

Police reports paint disturbing Minnesota Family Court picture

Communities Digital News

by Michael VolpeMay 7, 2016

Four new police reports paint a troubling picture of a violent and dangerous man that has sole custody of his five children, yet the media says he is wrongfully accused. Why?

rucki-700x350WASHINGTON, May 7, 2016 — Communities Digital News has unearthed four police reports involving David Rucki, whose divorce, custody battle and two daughters’ disappearance was the feature of the April 8 “20/20” episode entitled “Footprints in the Snow.”

Those police reports paint a troubling portrait of David Rucki, who presently has sole custody of his five children with ex-wife Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki accused David Rucki of physical and emotional abuse of her and her children for several years.

The Rucki family came to the attention of the media when the two oldest daughters ran away on April 19, 2013, after their pleas to live with their mother were shut down repeatedly by the court.

They remained missing until November 2015, when U.S. marshals discovered them on a farm in Herman, Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.

CDN had reported information that backs up Grazzini-Rucki claims of abuse by Rucki.

Rucki has more than 10 criminal arrests and multiple convictions. Four new police reports further substantiate Grazzini-Rucki’s  claims of violence by David Rucki.

Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/news-2/police-reports-paint-disturbing-minnesota-family-court-picture-62949/#qbczOjHyuh0pVkyl.99

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