Red Herring Alert

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Minnesota Appellate Upholds Free Speech Rights of Bloggers – Is Evavold Protected?

In a historic ruling from 2012, the Minnesota Appellate Court upholds the free speech rights of bloggers, rules that bloggers cannot be held liable for publishing true statements…

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How will this ruling bear on the case of Dede Evavold, who faces both a HRO hearing and a probation violation hearing, in relation to her blog “Red Herring Alert”. Evavold has even been held liable for true statements, which include multiple sources to verify their authenticity, which she did not personally make but were posted on her blog. “Red Herring Alert” includes articles from multiple authors and sources.

Blogger Dede Evavold has been slapped with a fraudulent HRO and faces jail time for publishing a blog, “Red Herring Alert”, after being banned by Judge Karen Asphaug, Dakota County, from mentioning the Grazzini-Rucki case for the next 8 years as a condition of probation.

Evavold was convicted of felony parental deprivation for her role in assisting two teenage sisters who ran away after a family court in Dakota County, presided over by Judge David L Knutson, failed to protect them from physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The father accused of abuse is wealthy and well-connected, and has been shown special treatment by both Judge Knutson and Judge Asphaug – who both, presided over previous criminal trials involving him. (See: Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?)

While Dakota County has branded Evavold as a “criminal”, may say she is a hero for her efforts to protect these children who vowed that they “would run away with or without help” after raising dozens of abuse allegations, and even speaking personally to Judge Knutson, that all went ignored. (See: The court created horror of the five Rucki children) The girls were called “liars” by the Guardian ad Litem, and accused by the court appointed therapist of being “brainwashed” despite the father’s lengthy criminal history, numerous police reports, HROs, and witness statements that attested to his propensity towards violence. (See: The definitive dossier documenting David Rucki’s violence: 99 pages of police reports, orders for protection, letters, affidavits, and more…)

(Judge Karen Asphaug, Judge David L Knutson)

 

Through blogging, Evavold has continued to raise awareness, and bring attention to, systemic injustices and corruption occurring across America’s political system today; and the devastating effect on individuals, families and children. As a wife and mother, Evavold feels a strong purpose in blogging – to inspire needed change so that this world can become a better place, and justice will be restored, not just for her family but for all future generations.

Just as egregious is the message being sent to abused children everywhere by Judge Karen Asphaug in this ridiculous condition of probation, and related charges, against Evavold and her free speech rightsA clear message is being sent to children, and victims of abuse, to remain silent because you will not be believed, and the system will not protect you but, instead, protect the perpetrator. The Grazzini-Rucki case has set a horrifying precedent, that, if you are a child who speaks out abuse in Dakota County, or reports abuse to the family court, police, social workers, therapists as these children did… you risk being called a “liar” and accused of being “brainwashed”. Social services and the court system will then force the child to “reunify” with the perpetrator against their wishes, despite their cries for help, and to the detriment of their safety, which is also what happened to these abused children – who now reside in the sole custody of the identified abuser.

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Will the Courts of Dakota County recognize Evavold’s Constitutional protections, and the precedent set by the Appellate, or strike a blow against freedom of speech?

 Stay tuned to “Red Herring Alert” for updates on Evavold’s shocking case, that will have far-reaching implications, and especially for writers and bloggers everywhere.

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THE JOHNNY NORTHSIDE LAWSUIT – “THE BLOGOSPHERE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY” AND BLOGGER’S RIGHTS

(August 20, 2012) In a 2012 defamation lawsuit against John Hoff, who publishes the blog “The Adventures of Johnny Northside”, the Minnesota Appellate Court, overturned a judgment issued against Hoff in defense of his 1st Amendment right to free speech.

A three-member panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned a $60,000 award for damages against Hoff.

Judge Jill Flaskamp Holbrook, appointed to that panel, stated in her decision that “Hoff’s blog post is the kind of speech that the First Amendment is designed to protect. He was publishing information about a public figure that he believed was true (and that the jury determined was not false) and that involved an issue of public concern . . . Attaching liability to this speech would infringe on Hoff’s First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit resulted after Hoff exposed Jerry Moore as being involved in a high-profile mortgage fraud case, and accused him of various misdeeds. At the time of the blog post. Moore worked at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center, where his job was to study mortgage foreclosures. Moore was fired from his job the day after Hoff’s post. Moore then filed a lawsuit for financial damages against Hoff for two counts of tortious interference – meaning he was fired because of the blog. Hoff said he told the truth and had documentation to back up his claims.

The Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s decision, saying that Hoff can’t be sued for publishing statements that are true. The Court also found that there wasn’t evidence that there was anything besides Hoff’s protected speech that interfered with Moore’s contract.

Hoff declared his trial to be the “Blogosphere Trial of the Century”. Johnny Northside’s blog retired in June 2015, but archives can still be read online. The MisAdventures of Johnny Northside

More Info:

Justice Delayed But Not Denied – Appellate Court Overturns $60K Verdict Against Blogger for Posting “Not False” Information

Minnesota Court of Appeals: Johnny Northside blog IS protected by First Amendment

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Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

Source: Judge David Knutson Retaliates Against Red Herring Alert

Public Domain: https://www.pexels.com

And for anyone who would dare press the complaints and issues beyond the initial “status quo guardians”, demonization, discrediting and economic retaliation are used to neutralize these voices of discontent and dissent…” ~ Don Mashak~ Political Google Site

Breaking News… Corrupt in Dakota County, Judge David L. Knutson retaliates against blogger and co-defendant in the Grazzini-Rucki case, Dede Evavold.

Judge Knutson issued a probation violation summons the very same day Evavold published an article Secrecy Is The Freedom Tyrants Dream Of criticizing the lack of transparency, and accountability in the judicial system.

The article mentioned Judge Knutson as an example, and included copies of a complaint previously raised against him. The article also suggested that Judge Knutson be removed from the bench or impeached.

Judge David Knutson — who has played role both in the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial and the divorce of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki — issued a probation violation summons against Evavold for publishing articles on a blog called “Red Herring Alert”. The violation stems from a court order prohibiting Evavold to mention the name of the Grazzini-Rucki family in social media for the length of her probation, an estimated 8 years!

Red Herring Alert is a blog that includes contributions from many authors, and there is no evidence that Evavold actually created or published the content in question.

Dede Evavold is not a criminal – she is a wife and a mother, who as a hobby, enjoys writing about current events and political news.

Evavold’s life was turned upside down after being convicted of 6 felonies, and sentenced by Judge Karen Asphaug (November 10, 2016) for felony parental deprivation for her role in assisting two teens S.R. and G.R. who were desperate to escape an abusive father (and paternal aunt) and feared for their lives after the courts and police failed to protect them. S.R. and G.R. openly stated they would run away with or without help and remained in hiding for over 2 years. When given opportunities to return to the care of their father, David Rucki, both girls refused, due to safety concerns. Witnesses say the behavior and emotional state of both S.R. and G.R. is consistent with abuse: Multiple Witness Reports: Rucki Sisters Fearful of Father, Felt Safe at Ranch

Judge Knutson ignored their cries for help of all five Rucki children and court ordered them into reunification therapy, and then the sole custody of, the identified abuser, father, David Rucki. At the time of the custody order, Rucki was on probation for a violation of a protective order, stemming from an incident involving ex-wife, Sandra. Sandra says she is being stalked, harassed and threatened by Rucki.

Judge Knutson made his ruling despite overwhelming evidence of Rucki’s propensity towards violence, and evidence supporting abuse of the children had occurred. For example, during a “telephonic conference” held on  September 7, 2012, Judge Knutson admitted that he was aware of allegations of sexual abuse involving the girls. Instead of protecting the children, Judge Knutson ordered their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, from the home and worked to reunite the children with their abusive father. Just a few months later, the Rucki children personally met with Judge Knutson in chambers, and disclosed allegations of abuse. Immediately after disclosure, Judge Knutson ordered the Rucki children into visiting Rucki and placed a bailiff at the door to prevent their escape.  Judge Knutson then ordered that the conference with the children be sealed, in an apparent cover up.

Judge Knutson is involved in every aspect of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and acts outside the law in such an extreme way that it could be said that he is David Rucki’s hired thug. Judge Knutson was involved in criminal cases against David Rucki, giving preferential treatment. Judge Knutson was involved in both the the divorce and criminal trial. Judge Knutson assigned himself to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal case and gave her a million dollar bail in Novmber, 2015. Judge Knutson is also connected to all of the judges appointed to every level of this case – including a connection to Judge Karen Asphaug, who is now presiding over the criminal trials of both Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold.

Dede Evavold has a constitutionally protected right to express her views, and should not be punished for the exercise of her 1st Amendment right to free speech. That Judge Knutson would take these actions against her, and be allowed to do so, shows just how corrupt the courts, and judicial system, in Dakota County really are. 

Beyond that, the public and people of Minnesota should also be expressing concern about the lawless and dangerous actions of Judge Knutson; who has court ordered five children into the care and custody of a dangerous abuser and destroyed the mother who sought to protect them.

That Dede Evavold is speaking out, despite enormous pressure against her to remain silent, and threats of jail, is courageous. To remain silent on this issue would mean complicity in the abuse of the Rucki children, and enable the destruction of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a loving, mother, who is being persecuted for her efforts to keep her children safe from harm after the family court system failed to protect them.

Hear more from Dede in her interview on Village Connection Radio: DEDE EVAVOLD, PAYING FOR BEING AN ACTIVIST FOR CHANGE

 

Read More About Judge David Knutson:

Commentary: Bailiffs Acting Like Judge Knutson’s Personal Thugs

Did judges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case previously fix husband’s cases?

2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

Never Forget: Judge Knutson – Stayed Sentence for Child Rapist

Bloggers Have Same First Amendment Protections as Traditional Journalists – HRO vs Evavold Should Be Dismissed

This ruling should be a clear reminder to misguided attorneys, corporations, developers or those with affluence to cease bullying or intimidating those who report the issues of the day.” ~ Choon James

The purpose of the free press clause of the First Amendment was to keep an eye on people in power and maintain a check on corruption.

Given the cutbacks in traditional media, bloggers have taken up the slack, serving as watchdogs — with attitude…Yet we still see an uninformed attitude from some lawmakers and judges who seem not to understand that digital and social media deserve the same respect as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters. ” ~ Ken Paulson, USA Today: Bloggers have rights, too: Column

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The Crystal Cox lawsuit is a landmark court case that defines, and upholds, the 1st Amendment protections of bloggers.. and is relevant when considering the recent HRO issued against Dede Evavold – blogging is an exercise of protected speech and does NOT constitute ‘harassment’!

Judge Karen Asphaug violated the 1st Amendment Rights of Dede Evavold by issuing a harassment restraining order against her that constrains, and censors, her exercise of free speech. A court cannot issue an order that violates the Constitutional rights of a party; as such the HRO issued by Judge Asphaug is void and should be immediately dismissed.

Dede writes about the HRO: “Most of you are aware of the fact that I was maliciously prosecuted and falsely convicted in the State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Evavold Case No.19HA-CR-15-4227.

There were several conditions beyond state sentencing guidelines imposed on me. However, the one condition that numerous attorneys and rank and file citizens are most amazed by is the restriction on my first amendment right to free speech (Judge Asphaug ordered that I may NOT reference the family involved in this case  on any social media)

As previously reported, I filed a witness tampering complaint against the petitioner in 2016. I had received a harassing and threatening extortion letter from petitioner’s attorney to intimidate me into deleting this blog and coerce me into changing not only my plea but to coerce me into changing my testimony in Sandra’s case. Also,  petitioner coerced and intimidated his daughter into recanting her testimony which led to the addition of 4 more felony charges against me.

Once again, the petitioner is violating the law by: retaliating against a person who was summoned as a witnes..”  For more info on the Evavold HRO please read: When We Lose Free Speech-We Lose Everything

CONSIDER THIS….

Court: Bloggers Have Same First Amendment Protections as Traditional Journalists

(Source: Slate, Daniel Politi, 1/18/2014)

“A blogger—and, really, the public at large—has the same protections for free speech in the United State as a traditional journalist and can only lose a defamation lawsuit on an issue of public concern if plaintiffs manage to prove negligence.

In a ruling that may come as a surprise to many bloggers who probably didn’t even realize this was even a question, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Crystal Cox, a blogger who had lost a defamation lawsuit in 2011 over a blog post that accused an Oregon bankruptcy trustee and Obsidian Finance Group of fraud, reports the Associated Press. A jury had awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million.

 

To be precise, the Ninth Circuit concludes that all who speak to the public, whether or not they are members of the institutional press, are equally protected by the First Amendment,’ writes Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox.”

 

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Confirmed: Bloggers Have First Amendment Rights as Corporate Media

(Source: Huff Post, ‘The Blog’. Choon James, 1/24/2014)

“On January 17, 2014, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Crystal L. Cox from Eureka, Montana who was sued by for defamation by Kevin Padrick, an attorney and his company – Obsidian Finance Group, LLC. Cox had written posts exposing fraud, corruption, money-laundering and so forth…
This ruling should be a clear reminder to misguided attorneys, corporations, developers or those with affluence to cease bullying or intimidating those who report the issues of the day.

Many concerned citizens have no choice but to create their own blogs and websites to level the playing field in this blossoming social media warfare.

The government has its plentiful public relations specialists, paid for by taxpayers. Corporations and special interests have their hired PR consultants. There are hired mercenaries who feel no qualms about spinning the facts. News media can be bought or controlled by big money or shut down.

It’s not uncommon for the public to read articles or watch the TV news only to lament the irregularities or inadequate reporting. Oftentimes, critical issues are shunned or ignored by corporate media because of entwined relationships.

Bloggers with information or have intimate experiences and understanding of issues are critically needed now, more than ever.

Blog away!”

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Court Says Bloggers are Journalists Too

(Source: Law Street, Anneliese Mahoney, 1/21/2014)

Last week, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the same standards that apply to journalists in print media also apply to bloggers and anyone else. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press member Gregg Leslie said, ‘it’s not a special right to the news media. So it’s a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others.’

The case came from a Montana blogger named Crystal L. Cox….

The Court stated,

The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable.” They went on to cite cases in which individual speakers have been granted First Amendment rights, despite not being a part of the established press. For example, the First Amendment rights of authors have often been protected, regardless of their training, background, or affiliations.

This is very good news for anyone who has a blog or even a desire to post things in an individual capacity on their social network…”

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Beware, the next blog post may be a threat to someone’s safety

Repost: Beware, the next blog post may be a threat to someone’s safety

David Rucki Says Blog Threatens Him

Michael Volpe

All rights reserved under the 1st Amendment regarding free speech. 

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Asphaug appears to be David Rucki’s personal judge. She presided over each of the four criminal trials in this case- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold, Dough Dahlen, and Gina Dahlen.

Asphaug ruled to disallow nearly all of David Rucki’s criminal history and forced Gina Dahlen to testify in multiple trials even though she was a defendant still awaiting her trial.”

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Beware, the next blog post may be a threat to someone’s safety.

That’s the allegation made in an ex-parte restraining order filed by David Rucki against Dede Evavold.

“Respondent (Evavold) continues to post information about my family, photos of my family, myself and other members of my family,” Rucki said in his ex-parte harassment restraining order application, “Respondent also continues to make allegations which are false but may incite others against me. My children are frightened for their safety and feel their privacy has been violated.”

The application continued, “This is a proven pattern that has been going on for years.”

Rucki does not specify what Evavold has said which is harassing or threatening; an email to Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliot, was left unreturned.

Evavold has a blog called Red Herring Alert, where she writes about the Rucki case among other blog posts.

This is not the first time David Rucki has used the legal system to try and shut Evavold’s blogging down. In the Summer 2016, his then attorney, Marshall Tannick, sent Evavold a letter threatening a lawsuit if she didn’t remove her blog immediately.

“I am writing to you on behalf of David Rucki,” began a letter from Tanick to Evavold from June 7, 2016, “and his daughters, Samantha and Gianna, with regard to the matter relating to the removal and concealment of the girls and related incidents that have occurred during that episode and thereafter.

“There are various civil claims arising from your involvement in this matter.”

Tannick did not respond to an email for comment and it’s not clear if he is representing him regarding the restraining order.

Evavold did not respond to the letter at the time and continued blogging.

On April 18, 2013, Rucki’s two oldest daughters- Samantha and Gianna- ran away from home and stayed for approximately two and half years with strangers- Doug and Gina Dahlen- after a judge- David Knutson forced them to live with Rucki’s sister- Tammy Love; even though all five Rucki children complained vociferously at the time that David Rucki and his family were violent.

Rucki has lived in the Minneapolis suburb of Lakeville throughout the process.

Evavold was one of four people convicted in relation to this disappearance after she recommended to the girls’ mother- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki- that she take her two daughters to live with the Dahlen’s; the Dahlen’s pled guilty for their role in hiding the two girls earlier in 2017.

Ironically, David Rucki is no stranger to restraining orders as nine people- his five children, his ex-wife, two neighbors, and an in-law- all successfully took out a restraining order against him after threatening and stalking behavior.

This case has been covered internationally and Rucki has conducted hundreds of interviews, making his pleas for privacy curious.

Rucki has a long history of violence including: includes: a bar fighta road rage incidentincidents of stalkingmultiple violations of restraining orders, and choking his wife with an organ leg.

The trial judge- Karen Asphaug- disallowed any mention of his criminal history; when his ex-wife testified at her trial she wasn’t even allowed to allude to the restraining order she and her children took out against him.

The four defendants argued they hid the girls because they feared for their safety in Rucki’s care; Rucki once chased after his daughter on her birthday, according to a police report and stuck a gun in his son’s head according to a Child Protective Services report.

Not surprisingly, Asphaug also granted him this restraining order ex-parte, which means without the other parties- in this case Evavold- knowledge.

Normally, an ex-parte restraining order is only granted in cases where someone is under immediate threat of physical danger and the granting of a restraining order based on blog posts should raise first amendment issues.

I contacted Brandon Stahl (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Laura Adelmann (Sun-Current), Michael Brodkorb, Elizabeth Vargas, Sean Dooley, and Beth Mullins (the last three the team behind the controversial 20/20 broadcast on this case which ignored Rucki’s documented history of abuse)- but none provided a response.

Adelmann, it was recently revealed, approached the jury during Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s trial and asked if any would like to be interviewed after the trial was over; her behavior is now the subject of a jury tampering allegation.

Asphaug appears to be David Rucki’s personal judge. She presided over each of the four criminal trials in this case- Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold, Dough Dahlen, and Gina Dahlen.

Asphaug ruled to disallow nearly all of David Rucki’s criminal history and forced Gina Dahlen to testify in multiple trials even though she was a defendant still awaiting her trial.

The 1st Judicial District, where Asphaug sits, would only say that judges are chosen to a case “by statute” but would not explain how Asphaug wound up repeatedly on Rucki’s cases.

A phone call and email to Lissa Linne, a public affairs officer for Minnesota Courts, was left unreturned.

A call to Asphaug’s law clerk, Jennifer Williams, was also left unreturned.

Asphaug taking over legal proceedings related to Rucki continues a pattern.

Judge David Knutson placed himself on every legal case related to the Rucki’s when he took over their divorce in 2011.

“The above referenced matter has been assigned to the Honorable Judge David Knutson,” a letter written by Knustson’s clerk in August 2011 stated, “all future matters shall be scheduled in front of Judge David Knutson.”

Knustson proceeded to issue approximately 4,000 orders, almost all regulating Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s behavior; he gave 100% of a multi-million estate to David Rucki and forcibly- under the threat of jail- removed Sandra Grazzini-Rucki from her home, and awarded David Rucki sole custody of his children, despite his documented history of violence.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has not seen any of her five children since early 2013.

Evavold has twenty days to challenge the restraining order.

The terms of the restraining order forbid Evavold from speaking about the Rucki family in public or approaching the family; the restraining order appears to be overkill as the terms of Evavold’s probation already forbid all this.

Evavold’s probation is overseen by Judge Asphaug, though she’s yet to violate her probation.

Evavold has four months left to serve on her prison term, but like Grazzini-Rucki, Asphaug has ordered her to serve it over the next six years.

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