Is Minnesota Safe with Judge David Knutson on the Bench? In Three High-Profile Cases, Showed Leniency to Dangerous Child Abusers

(Courtroom 2F, Dakota County Judicial Center, MinnesotaJudge David L. Knuston aka “Korrupt Knutson” presides over yet another controversial case – this time giving a drastic downward departure, meaning a sentence more lenient than recommended by guidelines, for an unlicensed daycare provider convicted of brutally assaulting, and nearly killing, a 13 month old boy.

Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was not expected to survive – today he is 2 years old and suffering from permanent brain damage.

Has justice been served? In two separate high-profile cases – the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki divorce/custody case and the criminal trial of child predator Dennis Roy – Judge Knutson showed leniency to a perpetrator of child abuse, and gave sympathy instead of prison.

A deeper look into all three of these cases suggests a pattern that Judge Knutson’s reckless disregard for the safety of children, and for public safety, has enabled dangerous abusers to avoid the punishment their heinous crimes warrant. Is the public safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

#1 – The Merchant Case (2016/2017) : No Prison for Daycare Provider Who Nearly Killed a Toddler

Source: pinterest

Background: On September 22, 2016, parents Jessica and John Merchant say their child “WM” was in good health, and showed no sign of any problems, the day he was dropped off at the home of Mariel Alexandra Grimm. Grimm, a mother and unlicensed daycare provider, had been watching “WM” since he was 9 weeks old. Grimm says that after being dropped off at her home that day, “WM” was at a usual level of activity, and that he “he was playing on the floor with some toys and seemed fine…” The day started off like any other, then ended in tragedy.

Grimm was the only adult in the home the day “WM” suffered a near fatal brain injury. At the time, Grimm was caring for 5 five other children – four of her children who were being home-schooled, and another daycare child.

“WM” was dropped off at 7:15 am; Grimm said she cuddled with “WM” and then laid him down in a pack n’ play. Grimm then went upstairs, and left “WM” alone, in the basement, to nap. At 8:47 am, Grimm heard “WM” crying and went to change his diaper, and brought him upstairs where he ate some cereal. After breakfast, Grimm brought “WM” back to the pack n’ play, and left him alone in the basement again so she could home-school her 4 children in the upstairs level of the home. In her statement to police, Grimm did not recall how long “WM” slept.

When “WM” woke again, Grimm went to change his diaper and noticed “WM” was stiff and unconscious. Grimm tried to rouse “WM” but he would not respond. Grimm then called Jessica Merchant who instructed her to call 911. The 911 call was made at 12:51 pm, an ambulance arrived soon after. When medics arrived, they found Grimm holding “WM” – who had a pulse but was breathing very shallow and was unresponsive. Medics noted that one of “WM”’s pupils was extremely dilated, and the other was not, a sign of head trauma. At the hospital, “WM” was diagnosed with a massive subdural hematoma (a build up of blood between the layers of tissue that cover the brain, a sign of severe trauma) and required emergency surgery.

Physicians treating “WM” stated that he would have become unresponsive immediately after or shortly after the head trauma occurred. The physicians also testified that type of trauma “WM” suffered is beyond what a toddler would experience if they had a normal fall or bump to the head, and the severity of the injury is consistent with being violently shaken or thrown. Meaning the greater force applied to the head, the more severe the damage to the brain and functioning will be. A severely injured infant would not be able to regulate any behavior requiring higher cortical functions, such as eating, sitting, playing, laughing, or walking – which is how “WM” now presents.

“WM” was diagnosed as suffering from abusive head trauma. He required surgery to remove a part of his skull in order to alleviate the swelling around the brain and spent months in the hospital. Medical experts testified that the injury inflicted on “WM” is consistent with “a violent acceleration-deceleration event, such as a high-speed motor vehicle collision or being severely shaken or thrown..”

An online comment says this about the case: “..Her (Grimm) story has changed repeatedly — her timeline is both inconsistent and incoherent and isn’t supported by the physical evidence.

Her daughter testified that the boy woke up crying while Mariel was in the shower, her daughter got her mother out of the shower who was angry about it, then Mariel was heard yelling at the boy to shut up. He then went entirely silent.

The boy suffered permanent and severely debilitating brain damage. To the extent that he is expected to remain a toddler in his capabilities for the rest of his life (though he is hoped to exceed those expectations). The damage was described, by one of the premier pediatric neurosurgical and neurological teams in the entire United States, as one of the worst cases of TBI that they’ve ever seen…Comment VO

Grimm noted in an online post that attorneys were “happy” that Judge Knutson was appointed to her case, and they had good reason to be considering the favorable outcome she would receive. Grimm was convicted in July 2017 by a jury of 1stdegree felony assault; sentencing occurred in September 2017.

“WM”, an adorable little boy with eyes that smile, chubby cheeks and golden blond hair, suffered from permanent brain damage and will never fully recover from injuries. The rest of his childhood will include continued medical treatment, and uncertainty. The Merchants said during their victim impact statement that “WM” cannot walk, requires a feeding tube, and suffers from seizures and intractable pain.

Mother, Jessica Merchant, said,” It is impossible to convey the tragedy and depth of devastation and sorrow as we watched our son fight for his life for days and weeks…

His life has been forever altered. Instead of wondering where he’ll go to college, or if he’ll be an engineer like his daddy, or a teacher like his mama, or an astronaut or a writer or an athlete, we have to wonder if he’ll even be able to have a job … to participate in school … to live on his own.”

Many in the courtroom cried after listening to the heart-wrenching victim impact statement. The Merchants asked Grimm be given the harshest sentence possible.

Despite the severity of “W.M’s” injuries, Judge Knutson showed sympathy – not to the “W.M.” or to the Merchant family but to the woman convicted of shaking the child, Mariel Grimm. Knutson praised Grimm for “cooperating” with the prosecutor’s office and her attitude in court; to which Judge Knutson bizarrely notes,”She has expressed ongoing love and support for the victim..” An “expression of love” does NOT involve violently shaking or throwing a toddler, causing his brain to hemorrhage!

Judge Knutson said he was also touched by the letters of support for Grimm but ignored the victim impact statement of the child’s parents, and the reaction of the public to it. 

Prosecutor Heather Pipenhagen said, “All of Ms. Grimm’s good qualities … do not mitigate what she did on September 22, 2016 to this child..Make no mistake, she took his life. He’s alive, but Ms. Grimm took his life.”

Grimm was facing up to 8 years in prison but in an act of misplaced mercy, Judge Knutson stayed the sentence so that Grimm will avoid prison. Instead, Grimm will spend up to 90 days in county jail but could be released in as little as 60 days. Grimm could also be released from jail to attend counseling appointments, and to home-school her 4 children. In addition, Grimm has been sentenced to 60 days of electronic home monitoring, 200 hours of community service and 15 years of probation. Grimm has an open case with CPS, her children were not removed from her home, but she has been required to be supervised when with them. As part of the conditions for probation Grimm is required to follow all directions of CPS. Grimm says she is innocent, that “WM” came to her home with injury, and plans to appeal.

A Fundraiser has been set up to help the Merchant family pay “W.M.’s” medical bills: Help with Medical Bills

Read More About the Merchant Case:

Daycare provider Mariel Grimm gets probation in shaken baby case (City Pages)

Eagan day care provider sentenced after baby left brain damaged (Twincities.com)

Eagan Day Care Provider Guilty Of Assaulting Toddler (Patch)

 

#2 – Dennis Roy Case (May 2013) : Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist, Victim Imprisoned By Ongoing Trauma, Flashbacks

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Dennis Michael Roy, pleaded guilty to felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct after raping and repeatedly assaulting a 5-year old girl, a relative, from Eagan (Case No. 19HA-CR-12-495).

Roy faced a maximum of 30 years in prison and $40,000 in fines…but instead he walked free. Roy appeared before Judge David L. Knutson, who handed down his sentence on March 22, 2013. Judge Knutson sentenced Roy to a 16-year stayed prison term and 20 years of probation.

In September 2014, Roy was found guilty of a probation violation for loitering in public with an open bottle of alcohol. He served 45 days in jail.Roy has 18 prior convictions, including second-degree burglary, multiple motor-vehicle thefts, multiple DUIs, trespassing, disorderly conduct and multiple domestic assaults.

The child involved continues to struggle with the assault, and suffers severely from the effects of trauma with flashbacks, anxiety and depression.

Read More on the Roy Case:

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Child Rapist Gets Stayed Prison Term, 20 Years Probation

 

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Divorce/Custody Case: Abuser Given Sole Custody of Children He Victimized, Lifetime Ban From Children Against Protective Mother

Judge Knutson is the family court judge who presided over the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and custody trial after it was illegally re-opened. Judge Knutson also demanded that ALL legal matters concerning the Grazzini-Rucki family be placed under his jurisdiction alone, and no other. By “coincidence” all the judges appointed to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s other legal matters (appellate, child support, criminal) share a connection to Judge Knutson, and all have issued extremely harsh rulings against her – even violating the law to do so.

In September 2012, Judge Knutson court ordered the removal of mother and primary caregiver, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home, causing all five children to run away after hearing the news. Judge Knutson instilled paternal aunt, Tammy Jo Love, a temporary guardian. Love had previously lost custody of her children due to drug use. The Rucki children feared Love, and say she mistreated them (one of the children told police after running away that Love hit her). Judge Knutson’s irrational decision came after allegations of sexual abuse involving two of the children were raised, which he was fully aware of. The Rucki children were apprehended and put into the care of a maternal aunt while Judge Knutson continued to work to give abuser, David Rucki, custody of the children who were so desperate to escape his abuse.

Instead of protecting the five Rucki children, Judge Knutson sought to isolate the children so they would have no avenue for help. Judge Knutson worked to give the abusive father complete control over the children – directly putting them in harm’s way. For the Rucki children, their childhood died the day their loving and protective mother was removed from their home, and their life, their existence would become a nightmare involving continued legal chaos and abuse; that would be impossible to escape, even as adults.

The traumatized Rucki children were then court ordered into reunification with identified abuser, father David Rucki. Some of the visits were facilitated in the Dakota County Judicial Center, where Judge Knutson used the court bailiffs to guard the doors so the children could not escape. Witnesses reported hearing the anguished cries of the children from behind closed doors during “reunification”. In another incident, the youngest child was heard screaming like a wounded animal, held captive by a therapist bent on “deprogramming”. The older siblings made efforts to help but were prevented and eventually separated from the younger siblings so they would be easier to control. Judge Knutson’s failure to protect the five Rucki children from the physical, mental and sexual abuse perpetrated by their father, David Rucki, has directly lead to these children being further abused, and now held captive by a custody ruling that has sentenced them to a life of torture.

Judge Knutson’s failure to consider the safety of the Rucki children created a crisis in which two of the eldest Rucki sisters ran away again on April 19, 2013, again citing fear for their safety when Judge Knutson attempted to place them again into the care of Tammy Jo Love.

While the eldest sisters were still missing, Judge Knutson ordered a custody trial, to be held on September 11-12, 2013 (note: the custody trial was held in the same courtroom as the Mariel Grimm criminal trial). During trial, Judge Knutson ordered Sandra’s attorney to proceed with while handcuffed and strapped to a wheelchair, without her client present, and no files, and not even her shoes or glasses. The custody trial was rife with due process violations, Constitutional violations, and legal error – in effect was a rigged trial masterminded by Judge Knutson. Under circumstances of great injustice, in November 2013, David Rucki was granted sole custody of all 5 children. At the time of the court order, Rucki was on probation for violating a protective order issued against him, after his continued abuse of Sandra. Judge Knutson later slapped a lifetime ban against loving and protective mother, Sandra – prohibiting her from any physical, verbal, or written contact with her children. Sandra has not seen or heard from her children in over 5 years, and grieves their loss every day, in every breath, she takes.

The two oldest Rucki sisters remained in hiding, living on a therapeutic horse ranch, and refusing to return to their father, David Rucki, stating he abused them. Witnesses say both girls exhibited emotional and physical symptoms consistent with abuse. On the ranch the sisters were well cared for, and nurtured, and began to not only heal but thrive in their new environment, which they considered home. Tragically in November 2015, after 2 years the sisters were discovered, and despite their pleas for help, and the recommendation of a social worker to keep them in foster care for their safety, Judge Michael Mayer (a close friend of Judge Knutson) returned the sisters back into the custody of David Rucki. To attest to his violent nature, Rucki was on probation for a violent road rage incident at the time the girls were put into his care.

Sandra was later convicted of 6 counts of felony deprivation for her efforts to assist her daughters, who ran away from abuse. She has filed an appeal, and has not stopped fighting for justice, and to keep her children safe from abuse.

The Grazzini-Rucki case is yet another example of Judge Knutson showing preference to a dangerous abuser, and purposefully ignoring the safety concerns and well-being of a vulnerable child. Yet again, the abuser is given protective status while the child is placed in harm’s way, with the assistance of Judge Knutson.

Against all logic, Judge Knutson has shown sympathy to dangerous child predators and abusers. Criminals go free when jail is warranted, and vulnerable children are denied the justice and protection they deserve.

Is Minnesota safe with Judge Knutson on the bench?

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Turning the Tables on the Tormenters

Sheriff & Deputies Indicted for Locking Down Entire School & Sexually Assaulting Kids

A sheriff and multiple deputies have been indicted for locking down an entire school, illegally search 900 students and sexually assaulting many of them in the process.

  

Worth County, GA — In June, violated children and furious parents filed a massive lawsuit after the Worth County Sheriff’s office conducted an illegal search of 900 students, sexually abusing multiple children in the process. Now, after nearly half a year, a grand jury has finally indicted the people responsible for this heinous deprivation of rights.

A south Georgia grand jury indicted Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby on Tuesday for sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of oath of office after he ordered a school-wide search of hundreds of high school students. Deputies allegedly touched girls vaginas and breasts and groped boys in their groin area during the search at the Worth County High School April 14, reports RARE. 

Two of Hobby’s deputies were also indicted this week in connection with the case.

Norman Crowe Jr., Hobby’s attorney claims the sheriff is innocent and conducted no searches.

“The sheriff’s position is that he’s not guilty,” Crowe said. “He’s committed no crime.”

As the Free Thought Project previously reported, an Atlanta attorney is now representing multiple students who were subjected to invasive and outright horrifying body searches during a mass — and warrantless — search for drugs at a South Georgia high school. Attorney Mark Begnaud, who filed the class-action lawsuit, called out the sheriff for conducting “900 illegal, suspicionless searches.”

“This was a textbook definition of overreach,” said Begnaud. “They pulled 900 students out of class. They did full, hands-on body searches.”

Continue Reading: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/sheriff-deputies-indicted-school-sexual-assault/

 

 

Coming After Us Six Ways from Sunday

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Logo | Spivak ... Founders_Finger_Gulag

Re: Andy Ostrowski’s false psych hold and a most curious comment

Subject: Re: Andy Ostrowski — recent comment on post
Date: Oct 9, 2017 10:49 AM
JoAnne is absolutely correct in her posts.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, confirms the RULE OF LAW and the Constitution. In order for any involuntary incarceration under the 5th and 14th Amendments DUE PROCESS must be strictly observed.  All that this requires is NOTICE AND HEARING.  There is a District Court case in Wisconsin that suggests that in this regard Form TRUMPS Substance, and a totally biased finder of fact still meets the criteria.  However, this was not the situation!
An ex-parte commitment order to be enforced by Police Act is so wrong that it is a massive stretch for any policeman participating to not be legally and criminally culpable for any action on his part that interferes with the civil rights of a victim – in this case Andy.   (The fact that Andy may have given his key to someone is irrelevant – and the fact that he might have on social media made statements that were offensive to someone are not grounds for summary incarceration.  THIS IS NOT ALLOWABLE under the Constitution and ANY LAW THAT IS or is interpreted to deny basic DUE PROCESS is void.   A middle school student is required to know this fact – to require a well paid judge/lawyer/policeman to be aware of such a proposition is equally appropriate.
I agree with JoAnne — ANDY’s incarceration was WRONGFUL, and criminal.    All the miscreants involved ought to be charged with KIDNAPPING, tried and sent to jail!   The Gulag cannot be tolerated in America.
Ken Ditkowsky
 Continue Reading: https://marygsykes.com/2017/10/09/re-andy-ostrowskis-false-psych-hold-and-a-most-curious-comment/

Regulating Rights

9/11 Gave Us The Police State With The “Patriot” Act, After Vegas Get Ready For “USA Liberty” Act

By Rachel Blevins

After 9/11, the United States government preyed on the fear felt by many Americans to justify the passage of the USA Patriot Act—a law that was supposed to prevent future terrorist attacks. Now, after the Las Vegas shooting, the government has another proposed law ready to go, and just as with the Patriot Act, it also infringes on Americans’ liberties, and does very little for their security.

The USA Liberty Act is the latest trendy name for a law that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017. According to the House Judiciary Committee, the act would preserve “the core purpose of Section 702: the collection of electronic communications by non-U.S. persons for use in our nation’s defense.”

However, it should be noted that while the purpose of FISA was reportedly only to allow surveillance on the communications of foreign targets who were suspected terrorists, it has been used to spy on the communications of innocent Americans—despite the practice being ruled illegal—and any reauthorization of the law will only allow the practice to continue under the guise of “preventing terrorism.”

The USA Liberty Act claims that it will “better protect Americans’ privacy” by requiring the government to have “a legitimate national security purpose” before searching an individual’s database. Then when they do have that purpose established, they will be required to “obtain a court order based on probable cause to look at the content of communications, except when lives or safety are threatened, or a previous probable cause-based court order or warrant has been granted.”

Continue Reading: https://www.activistpost.com/2017/10/911-gave-us-police-state-patriot-act-vegas-get-ready-usa-liberty-act.html

HARVEY WEINSTEIN PLEDGES HIMSELF TO THE RESISTANCE IN WAKE OF SEX SCANDAL

Keep in mind, Harvey Weinstein is the embodiment of Hollywood

Harvey Weinstein Pledges Himself to The Resistance in Wake of Sex Scandal
After news broke of his alleged sexual depredations in the New York Times, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein released a statement Thursday pledging himself to The Resistance and fighting the NRA.
Though he denied sexually exploiting young women in parts of the letter, at other parts he said he’s “trying to do better,” “regret[s] what happened” and wants to “conquer” his “demons.”
Keep in mind, Harvey Weinstein is the embodiment of Hollywood. He’s “Mr. Hollywood.” He is the quintessential Hollywood movie producer and all other Hollywood producers are just like him.

That said, let’s break this lunacy down line by line.

Harvey Weinstein is literally at the forefront of pushing the whole idea we have a “rape culture.” He produced the hysterical propaganda documentary “The Hunting Ground” in 2015 pushing the hoax. He’s a major donor to Democrats like Hillary Clinton who want to make consensual sex illegal for straight white males.

I thought you didn’t do anything?

He goes on to say he hired anti-Trump lawyer Lisa Bloom — who famously represented women who accused Trump of sexual assault — and then quotes Jay Z as though he’s quoting the bible.

He’s already plotting his comeback. Seeing as how Hollywood and the media ran cover for this grease-bucket for 30 years, he’s betting this will be brushed under the rug. It’s worth noting NBC News didn’t even report on the story.

He then pledges himself to The Resistance.

 

The New York Times only ran this story, according to Weinstein himself, because they were afraid they’d be scooped by New York Magazine.

From NY Post:

Folks, if you’re sending your children to Hollywood, you’re sending them to be raped by the sickest perverts on the planet. I guarantee you these allegations are just a drop in the bucket. Watch the documentary “An Open Secret” by Amy Berg if you want an idea of the type of people who inhabit Hollywood.

CNN’s Jake Tapper said on Twitter a Hollywood producer he knows told him: “Shocked it’s taken so long for a Harvey Weinstein behavior expose. One of the most open secrets in Hollywood.”

CNN, of course, did nothing to investigate this for 30 years, despite it being an “open secret.”

No one in our media did. I wonder why?

Minnesota Teacher-Student Sexual Relationships

Dakota Co. Attorney James C. Backstrom

 

”Quite frankly, it should be a crime,” said County Attorney Backstrom.  He pushed to change the law after a similar case nearly a decade ago.

In light of the new cases, he says he will once again encourage lawmakers to make teacher-student sexual relationships illegal, regardless of the student’s age.

“I’ll raise this issue again with legislators here in Dakota County and hopefully get the bill introduced again next session, Backstrom said. “I think it’s worth another try.”

KARE 11 Investigates: Teacher-student sex not always illegal in Minnesota

Lou Raguse, KARE 10:22 PM. CDT October 04, 2017

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – A county prosecutor is calling for a change in Minnesota law – to make it illegal for teachers to have sexual contact with high school students, regardless of their age.

Currently, it’s not a crime in Minnesota for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student who is at least 18 years old.

And recent cases reviewed in a KARE 11 investigation, raise questions about how Minnesota holds teachers accountable if they do have sex with their students.

In some cases, KARE 11 learned state education officials won’t even investigate.

“It just eats at you, because you put this trust in these people to protect them,” said the mother of one student.

Continue Reading: http://www.kare11.com/news/kare-11-investigates-teacher-student-sex-not-always-illegal-in-minnesota/480903753


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Media promotes stories that create societal outrage and the solution is always more legislation and initiatives, tougher laws, more law enforcement, more training, etc. None of these solutions make a meaningful difference in preventing sex offenses and really just appease our need to feel that we are protecting children and that our legislature is addressing the issue.

State laws regarding “consensual sex” (referred to generally as statutory rape laws) prohibit adult-child relationships but define childhood differently, depending upon the state.

What is the Minnesota Age of Consent?

The Minnesota Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Minnesota are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.

Minnesota statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16, although it is raised to 18 when the offender is an authority figure. If the younger party is 13-15, their partners must be no more then 2 years older, and children under 13 may only consent to those less than 36 months older.

Age of consent laws are tied into other statues such as those of rape and sexually assaulting and raping somebody is already a crime.

A very wise saying. Those who expect a new law to magically make all that nasty bad behavior disappear fool themselves. You can change said behavior by several means, but making laws is not one of them.

“There is no simple fix to the devastating problem of sex abuse. Instead of politically popular measures that make no difference we need to turn our attention and resources to ways of addressing the epidemic of sex abuse that, while perhaps not as politically popular, will actually work so that more potential victims can be spared.” Deborah Jacobs, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

SILICON VALLEY PUBLISHER LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION COVERING FAMILY COURT, CIVIL COURT, AND CPS CONTROVERSY

SILICON VALLEY PUBLISHER LAUNCHES NEW PUBLICATION COVERING FAMILY COURT, CIVIL COURT, AND CPS CONTROVERSY

In San Francisco on Sunday October 1 – in the shadow of the California Supreme Court, Judicial Council and Commission on Judicial Performance – the launch party for Ex Parte was held. Pictures are included with this post.

Ex Parte is a new print and online source for legal news and opinion from Silicon Valley publisher Susan J. Bassi. Court watchdog and CJP reform advocate Joe Sweeney will lead the editorial staff.

The publication and website will specialize in investigative reporting on California family, civil and probate courts, and Child Protective Services (CPS).

At the San Francisco kick-off event, court and CPS victims, reporters, editors, attorneys, academics, and funders from throughout the state all met for the first time together, face-to-face. The Ex Parte concept germinated and was developed through social media.

The publisher, editors, and reporters at the start-up news organization assert that they will report on the Judicial Branch controversies and human interest stories often overlooked or ignored by existing legal publications, and the mainstream media.

Among other subjects, Ex Parte reporters will be assigned to investigate civil rights and federal law violations – including racketeering, honest services fraud, and misuse of federal funds – by state court judges, court administrators and employees, lawyers, and state and local CPS workers, according to the publisher.

For more information, visit the Ex Parte website at https://www.expartepress.com.