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A Unitive System: Restorative Justice 2020 June 27, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 8:01 pm
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When Judge Bruce Peterson says in his article below that we all must take responsibility to replace harsh and threatening environments with more nurturing communities, he knows what he is talking about! Judge Peterson introduced Michelle MacDonald, founder of Family Innocence, to Restorative Circles in 2011, helping to implement in her law and mediation practice a Unitive System of Justice. You see, our current system of justice is a “Punitive” one —-top down and compulsory, where those at the top (ie. judge, jury, police, lawyers, teachers, security) assume responsibility for deciding what will happen to those in conflict. In contrast, a Unitive System is equal and voluntary, where those in conflict meet in a safe space to hear each other out and decide what to do about their conflict.  Community and restorative justice practices are worldwide.  Call Michelle MacDonald at 612-554-0932 for information. Michelle is a practicing attorney, and statewide candidate for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, 2020. Thank you Judge Peterson for helping to bring restorative practices to light.


Lawless Family Court: Videos Series Introduction March 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — familyinnocence1 @ 2:38 pm
This is the first of a several part series which which explains why court for family members is lawless; and needs to stop. We did not always have court for families, but today law enforcement, lawmakers, lawyers and courts (judges) rule the roost. Most of us have court orders regulating our family matters. For more information, contact restorative attorney, Michelle MacDonald at 612-554-0932 and for a restorative justice circle mediator email

2018 International Conference on Restorative Practices July 31, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 2:35 am

By Dede Evavold


Shout out to all peacemakers!

Unique Opportunity to Learn Circles! August 9-11, 2018 International Conference on Restorative Practices coming to St. Paul, Minnesota

Hello. It’s Michelle MacDonald!

Our family culture seems to go from conflict to attorneys and court. Either that, or they  dwell in conflict.  But there is a better way used around the country and the world.  I call it an authentic, holistic and organic justice —–that can happen before lawyers and courts are ever involved.

There is a unique opportunity to be educated and receive training in a powerful form of dispute resolution: Restorative Circles, a restorative practice within the field of Restorative Justice! (See Flyer at Bottom of the Page) Here is the link to learn more:

Not only is this the first time this conference is coming to America — it is being held in to our own backyard!  Thursday- Saturday, August 9-11, 2018, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN, and we are applying for CLE and ADR credits!

I have had to travel great distances to get the trainings, after Judge Bruce Peterson introduced me to circles in May 2012.   Restorative practices are explained like this on my law firm website:

Restorative Justice Circles – Here, anyone can begin to resolve a conflict or injustice by starting a “circle.” The process begins by talking to trained facilitator who can meet with you to listen to your problem, and customize what is needed for resolution of conflicts in your home, work or community, based on your personal information and situation. Restorative Justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by the conflict. When participants meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformational.

For any of you interested in resolving individual and family, including in your own relationships, this education is invaluable.  I have implemented it in my home, with my husband, children, friends, family, law practice, and of course, have been a facilitator for Family Innocence: a nonprofit dedicated to keeping families out of court.   Family Innocence will have an exhibit table where we hope to sign up providers to help us, so that the people have access to these remarkable facilitators who do most of their work volunteer, or on a shoe string budget.

You can register right up to the date, and will not be turned away.  Hope to see you there!

Family Innocence, Inc

Michelle L. MacDonald

Founder & Volunteer President  

 Michelle L. MacDonald, Founder and Volunteer President of Family Innocence, a non-profit project dedicated to keeping families out of the adversary process: resolving conflicts and injustices peacefully through Mediation and  Restorative Justice & Family Circles.

Michelle can be reached at: or by cell phone at 612-554-0932


A Humanistic Approach to Mediation and Dialogue by Mark Umbreit February 13, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 11:26 pm

This is what Family Innocence is about! Thank you, Mark Umbreit, for all that you do to promote restorative justice & peace in many realms. But what about restorative justice, mediation and peacemaking in families? Before things get out of hand? That is where Family Innocence comes in…



‘Cooperative Private Divorce’ legislation would remove process from courts

Filed under: Divorce And Society,From The News,Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 11:22 pm


The “Cooperative Private Divorce” legislation would allow couples to form divorce agreements without filing with the court or needing a judge’s signoff. The traditional system would remain in place for others.


Allegations of domestic abuse not protected speech, MN court rules

Filed under: Court Cases,From The News,Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 11:12 pm

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reinstated a defamation suit against an organization that helps victims of domestic violence, ruling that a story told by a man’s ex-wife at an awards banquet and fundraising newsletter is not protected.


Take Me Out To The Ballgame Family Innocence Fundraiser (Twins versus Kansas City 1 September) July 13, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 8:20 pm

When: Friday September 1 2017

Game Time: 7:10 PM (meet to pickup tickets)

Cost : Tickets $17.00

Where: Target Field, One Twins Way , Minneapolis , MN

Bring the whole family!The Twins will welcome Family Innocence at the 7th inning stretch.Tickets available at this price but prepayment is required by Twins from Family Innocence.Register by calling Michelle at 612-554-0932.

For more details Call   Family Innocence: 651-783-5878 (leave a call back number) or email: Family Innocence is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit


Family Innocence Social 1 March 2017 February 28, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 7:07 pm



Family Innocence Presents – Sarah Leitschuh, MA, LMFT:

A Nonprofit Dedicated To Keeping Families Out Of Court:  Resolving Conflicts & Injustices Peacefully

When:                  Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time:                   5:45 pm. – 8:00 pm.

Where:                Cowboy Jacks

2801 Southtown Drive

Bloomington, MN 55431

sponsored by MacDonald Law Firm, LLC

Marriage and Family Therapist will talk about the effects of divorce/custody fights on children and families


For more details Call   Family Innocence: 651-783-5878 (leave a call back number) or email: Family Innocence is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit


Family Innocence December 1, 2016 November 29, 2016

Filed under: Family Innocence News,Uncategorized — Family Innocence @ 5:50 pm

Family Innocence December 1, 2016 Come and Join Us at Caribou Coffee in West St. Paul

Come and join us for a question and answer session with Michelle MacDonald about the book “Sandra Grazzini-Rucki & the World’s Last Custody Trial”

“Sandra Grazzini-Rucki & the World’s Last Custody Trial” book:

A Nonprofit Dedicated To Keeping Families Out Of Court:  Resolving Conflicts & Injustices Peacefully

               Q& A with co-author Michelle MacDonald

When:        Thursday, December 1, 2016

                  Time:         5:30pm -6:30 pm

                  Where:       Caribou Coffee

1193 South Robert Street

West St. Paul, MN  55118

Paperback available for purchase– proceeds to Family Innocence or

buy online:   (search book and title)


For more details Call   Family Innocence: 651-783-5878 (leave a call back number) or email: Family Innocence is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit


Male family violence victims on Saf​​er pathway November 7, 2016

Filed under: Domestic Violence — Family Innocence @ 10:05 pm