Michael Volpe

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Lisa Elliott, the long-time attorney for David Rucki, filed a notice for a taxation of costs- meaning she wants the other side to pay for the costs of filing- with the appeals court.

In her response, Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald explained to the court that her client is a pauper.

“Appellant, Sandra Sue Grazzini-Rucki, hereby objects to the taxation of costs and disbursements dated September 1, 2017,” MacDonald said in her response, “on the ground that: Appellant was granted informa pauperis status and is a pauper.”

By granting Grazzini-Rucki informa pauperis status the court has deemed Grazzini-Rucki too poor to afford to pay for her own filing fees and they are thereby waived; but that hasn’t stopped Elliott from demanding she pay for her client’s filing fees.

MacDonald, after receiving a $5,000 retainer in early 2013, has been working on Grazzini-Rucki’s custody case pro-bono; she was once forced to conduct part of a custody trial while handcuffed to a wheelchair.

The latest filing follows a similar filing by Elliott in late August asking the court which handled her client’s divorce to order Grazzini-Rucki to pay for all the filing fees- in excess of $3,000- she accrued in that court.

The series of events defy logic.

Late last month, the same appeals court upheld a previous ruling by Judge Maria Pastoor which ordered Grazzini-Rucki to pay her ex-husband nearly $1,000 in child support.

That appeal’s decision was authored by Judge Jill Flaskamps Halbrooks.

David Rucki is a multi-millionaire who received 100% of the marital estate- which included a business, four homes, and nine classic cars- by an order of Judge David Knutson despite the standard in all divorce that distributions of marital estates be “equitable”.

While the court on one hand has recognized Grazzini-Rucki’s pauper status, the same court has ordered her to pay child support to a multi-millionaire even though she is homeless, penniless and jobless, rendered that way by the same court which is now ordering her to pay child support.

Lisa Elliott has refused to respond to repeated emails for comment.

Beau Berentson, public affairs officer for the Minnesota Courts, also did not respond to an email for comment.

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