A Washington County judge on Tuesday threw out a restraining order against journalist and blogger Michael Brodkorb, saying that the woman who accused him of harassment brought the petition in the wrong county.
For more than a year and a half, Brodkorb has been covering the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was sentenced to several months in prison last week for hiding her two teenage daughters for 2½ years.
Two weeks ago, Grazzini-Rucki filed a restraining order petition in Washington County against Brodkorb, alleging he had followed her, surveilled her and intimidated her. In her petition, Grazzini-Rucki listed her home address as the Stillwater business address of her attorney, Michelle MacDonald.
After a hearing, the same judge who granted the order threw it out, saying that Brodkorb did not live in Washington County, nor did any alleged harassment occur there.
“Therefore, for venue of this case to be proper, [Grazzini-Rucki’s] residence must be located in Washington County,” Judge John McBride wrote. He found that it was “doubtful” Grazzini-Rucki ever lived at MacDonald’s office.