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Mark Black Fights Off Ex-Wife’s Protection Order Request, Loses DCI Job

Last updated on 2014.08.03

In the Nobody Wins Department, Judge Eugene Dobberpuhl has denied Patricia Black's request for a permanent protection order against her husband, Division of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Black.

To make her case and justify a temporary restraining order in February, Patricia Black attested and Mark Black confirmed that he had pushed and shoved and engaged in other aggressive physical behavior towards his then wife. Patricia Black presented evidence that Mark Black had vandalized her property, spray-painting "PATTY WINS!" on a boat that their divorce settlement deemed hers. She also presented evidence that Mark Black rubbed his swift remarriage in her face after their divorce.

Mark Black wielded his authority as a law enforcement officer to intimidate Patricia Black in an unbalanced power dynamic. But power dynamic be darned, Judge Dobberpuhl considered a mutual restraining order a better remedy, and since Patricia Black wouldn't agree to that equation, Judge Dobberpuhl threw the whole case out.

But the Attorney General has balanced the power equation a bit. Mr. Waltman reports and public information officer Sara Rabern of the AG's office confirms that Mark Black no longer works for the state of South Dakota. For those already abused by Mark Black's angry, intimidating behavior, his firing is small comfort.


  1. Jerry 2014.03.24

    Wow, Black is some piece of work. I did not think Marty would can the dude, good for Marty and good for the state of South Dakota. We could do better by him just leaving now, the sooner the better.

  2. rollin potter 2014.03.24

    yea!!!!!! another appointed judge without any common sense between the ears unloads his power behind the robe again !!!!!!

  3. Chris Cross 2014.03.24

    Please see the link below for more information about Mark Black. Your tax dollars paid this guy's salary. Make no mistake, Mark Black is a bad guy, but he is by no means the only diseased fish in the pond. Would not be surprised to see other, higher ranking officials try to make him a fall guy to take the heat off their own hides.

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.24

    Statistically and anecdotally, women and girls are most likely to be murdered by a male they have some type of relationship with. The rate is high, though I can't quote the exact percentage.

    One of the salient points in this discussion is why women sometimes drop charges.


    Specifically there are three common threats the male makes to keep her from leaving or filing charges: His own suicide or her murder, or both. These threats are often carried out. Right now the news is covering the murder trial of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorious (sic). He has admitted to killing his girlfriend. The likelihood that he threatened her is sky high, if it was deliberate murder.

    Another common threat is harm to the children. I don't know if there were children in the Black relationship, but that is an extremely powerful and effective threat. Again, it is another one that is carried out. We hear horrific stories about entire families murdered. Then he suicides. Other times he only murders the children because his goal is to make her suffer.

    It's all horrendous. Because the overwhelming percentage of perpetrators are male, more than 90%, I'll always give the benefit of the doubt to the woman. It just makes sense. That's why police first look to male relationships for the murderer. It's simple math.

  5. Joan Brown 2014.03.24

    I have known many cops over the years that drove drunk. In fact my now "ex" was one of them. This was in a different city than where I live now. I'm sure it goes on all over. At the time, if anybody would have called the PD and reported that a bunch of cops were going to be leaving the City Employees party at a certain time, almost all of the cops could have been ticketed, other than the ones that were on duty.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.24

    Deb, who are those quacks over on the other blog about Black?
    By their tones they seem to be justifying domestic abuse. I'm really curious as to the why they are so defensive of Black, there has to be an underlying reason.
    Cory reported a factual story and they take issue with him at every turn.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.25

    Roger, I get the impression that some men just can't stand any challenge to their authority. They can't stand the thought of being held accountable for being jerks to women.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.25

    Roger, I have no idea who the guy is. (I'm betting it's all one guy.) I've heard that kind of reaction before, usually from perps. Nope, I don't know if he is one, but I do think he is making stuff up. The "statistics" he provided are simply not true.

    I was brought in to abuser groups by the mental health leader, to talk and listen to them. I've also received calls from perps on the shelter phone. One stands out:

    He was a local radio deejay. He was popular, did lots of special corporate gigs around town, had loads of charm and the sexiest, most mellifluous voice. He called the shelter late one night, charm cranked up to 10. He was really concerned about his girlfriend, doncha know. He thought she was in the shelter. He just wanted to know because he had some of her things and thought she might need them. Oh he was so sweet and loving! He only had her best interests at heart.

    As per policy, and common sense, I did not confirm or deny. While he kept pouring on the charm, I was feeling a little greasy just from being on the phone with him. Finally I said that I wasn't going to tell him anything any time, it was very late and I was tired. I was going to bed.

    He exploded! His voice became harsh, loud, angry! He was outraged that I refused to acquiesce to his phony, sweet voice. His radio listeners would not have recognized his voice. It was like the mask dropped off.

    That scenario was repeated on various levels over and over. There is no profile of a domestic violence perp, other than overwhelmingly male.

    One thing that angry guy on the other post said that I will address is about women committing DV. It does happen. Except for less than 1% of the cases, she does not murder him. When women are abusive, they inflict minimal physical damage, rarely control financial resources, solely hold contracts, business licenses, deeds, titles, etc. She is not stronger or bigger than him. He is much more likely to have access to and/or control of any weapons. In short, she has few options to control.

    On the other hand, no shelter will refuse to help a male victim. The shelters I managed did not bring any males over 12 years old into the shelter; too traumatizing for the women in residence. We met with them elsewhere, provided a place for them to stay, and gave them access to all services we gave anyone else.

    The information I am providing is not sexism. It's fact, simple math built on decades of nationwide police reports.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.25

    Deb, you make an important point. Domestic abuse is very much about the power dynamic. Parents abuse children. Husbands abuse wives. Wives may abuse husbands, but it happens more rarely because (am I over-generalizing to say this?) women are very rarely possessors of the raw power necessary to commit such abuse.

    Can we say that domestic abuse is like racism— it's hard to commit when you're not the one in power?

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.25

    Yes Cory. We can say that. Nice, concise summary. Thanks.

  11. Jeff 2014.03.26

    Hi Deb....miss me?

    No I'm not a "perp." And the only posts I have made are under this name. You are confused and wrong about this issue too. As I have said repeatedly, the fact that you are posting do not meet the burden of proof for acts of 'violence.' Bad behavior, maybe. If you were a professional and honest in your assessment, you would have taken into account the actions of the ex wife, as the judge apparently did, and you wouldn't have embarrassed yourself. While you are pontificating about murder, why don't you tell the rest of the story - that most people are murdered by someone they know. This is why investigators always first like at the partner/spouse of a murder victim. I hope you do abetter job of being an honest broker in your 'professional' capacity than you are in your blogs.

  12. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.26

    I'd imagine Deb misses Jeff, Joe and CSC as much as I miss last week's diarrhea.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.26

    That's about right Roger.

    Jeff, when you address me courteously and respectfully, I will respond.

  14. Jeff 2014.03.26

    Hey Deb, care to chastise Roger (if that's his real name) on his lack of courtesy and respect!

  15. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.26

    Mr. Black,

    Real quick like, grab a dictionary and look up


  16. Jeff 2014.03.26

    Now, Dear Miss Deb - I would respectfully ask what you consider to be respectful? I only ask this since you variously referred to me as an "angry guy" and a "perp." So what is your standard exactly? I would love to discuss the issues with you - for instance, why is it that when discussing this case you have repeatedly engaged in long soliloquies about violence against women and murder when these really have not been issues in this case? Here is nothing is the record to indicate that the husband ever physically struck his ex wife? There s acknowledged pushing, by both parties, but nothing beyond that. The local paper in fact reported from the hearing that the wife could be "equally nasty." And murder? Where in the record is there any inflation or evidence of even this having ever been an issue in this case. How did you make this leap? Why would you make this inference - unless you are trying to put a certain spin on the story?

  17. Jeff 2014.03.26

    Roger, have you ever confronted an issue directly?

  18. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.26

    Here are reputable sources for statistical information regarding domestic violence:

    I can see that I made a couple errors. Changes show there are some improvements and still many, many places where the pain and suffering continues unabated.

    A very important part of diminishing the scourge of domestic violence includes the large numbers of supportive men. Men like Cory and Roger and others have an important voice. The more universal the voices of disapproval become, the greater the shame stigma becomes.

    Thanks guys.

  19. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.26

    Every day Mr. Black, every day

  20. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.26

    Jeff, I have never accused you of anything, nor have I made any judgments in this case. I know I don't have the information to come to any conclusions about Black so I'm not trying to. I have shared information about DV for the benefit of anyone interested.

    Jeff, you have been making great leaps from my comments, personalizing them directly to yourself and the Black case. That's on you, not me. You've been excessively defensive without being attacked.

    I don't hint around or try to create inferences, and I'm not interested at all in personal attacks. If I have something to say, I state it directly, so here is a question for you, Jeff:

    I'm curious about why you react so strongly and passionately to this topic. Do you have a personal, not professional, experience with domestic violence, perhaps via a friend or family member?

  21. Jeff 2014.03.27

    A study by the Centers for Disease Control in 2010 indicated that 40% of the victims of severe, physical domestic violence are men.

    This reflects the growing consensus in the field and is an uncomfortable truth that some of the advocates truly need to confront.

  22. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.27

    Where do you see that Jeff? I have a link to that page in my earlier comment, and I don't see your information.

    (I'll check back tomorrow. It's late here.)

  23. Jeff 2014.03.27

    Again, Deb, in a divorce matter that involves unsubstantiated accusations, and but some instances of acknowledged mutual pushing both parties, how is it that you made the leap to violence and murder? Those were your statements, not mine?

    Nice try, trying to insinuate that I must somehow be personally involved in domestic violence. In fairness, though, since you have indicated that you will automatically take the side of any woman in a DV matter, has this been a personal, and not just a professional issue for you?

    A friend gave me a heads up about the kangaroo court being conducted on this website. I debated writing anything, but decided to wade inbecause I was offended by the basic unfairness of the discussion being perpetrated. Much of the theorizing has gone far beyond the facts in this case. I have observed a lot of people jumping to conclusions purely based on gender and profession which were contradicted by the known facts. As a professional, I evaluated the facts. I went to public sources beyond this blog because I quickly ascertained that the facts presented here had been selected and slanted to support a preformed conclusion. My opinion was that the accusations of the ex wife were not supported by the facts - and based on the court's rulings, I was right.

    Yes, I have thrown some insults. But from the very first response to my initial post I have dealt with an onslaught of vitriol, the kindest of which was calling me foolish, and it devolved from thee into accusations of being a quack, a tool, on drugs, etc. you yourself termed me an "angry guy" and a "perp," so nobody's hands are clean and to cry foul at this point is a tad hypocritical. I am more than happy to engage in an honest debate, but if someone wants to make it personal, I will respond in kind ( and not because I'm angry. Because I'm not). I have repeatedly asked, practically begged, for the accusers to tell me where I was factually incorrect. Instead of a rebuttal, all I have received so far are brilliant ripostes that I must be stupid, that I'm "butt sore," that I must be using multiple other words they've been more than happy to talk about anything ore than the topic at hand.

  24. Jeff 2014.03.27

    Deb, it's an article from May 16, 2012' entitled 'Men: The Overlooked Victims of Domestic Violence.'

    I also first heard of this, to my surprise and enlightenment, in lectures by members of the Behavioral Science Unit from Quantico as far back as 1987.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.27

    Jeff, understand that you are catching heck in part because you seem to be defending power and authority. Agent Black is the one with official power to abuse.

  26. Jeff 2014.03.27

    Cory, we are talking about a divorce. Where in the record did he use his official position in any matter with his ex wife?

  27. mike from iowa 2014.03.27

    Someone can't fathom the difference between butt-hurt imagined victimhood and actual accusals. This little fantasy is over. The lunch mob has spoken.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.27

    We're talking about power, Jeff. One person has a badge and a gun. The other does not. There's a power imbalance. The intimidation and aggression at home parallels that used on the job (interrogating children). The agent used the threat of arrest and legal action, a threat that carries more weight when given by a law enforcement officer than when given by someone who isn't a cop. That's a big reason this story is in the press in the first place.

  29. mike from iowa 2014.03.27

    Deb-your first link doesn't work for me. Second one works fine.

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.27

    Jeff, you continue to personalize everything I say. You are Not the center of my attention. Do you understand that? The information I have offered here regarding DV is not about you, nor is it about Black. Now I just repeated what I said before. Did you really hear and understand what I just said?

    This is a perfect example. You said, "Nice try, trying to insinuate that I must somehow be personally involved in domestic violence."

    No, I did not insinuate anything. I asked you a simple and direct question. I told you that was what I was going to do, and then I did exactly that.

    I will add this about personal experience with a crime. People who have such personal experiences are often the best sources for information, support and action. Such folks often devote more time and energy to researching and compiling information. They become more knowledgeable than nearly all laypeople and some professionals.

    My personal experience comes from an abusive father when I was a child. Other than that, my professional work in DV, and then later as an ordained pastor, plus a large dose of innate compassion has fueled me to advocate for folks who struggle and lack resources of power, income, culture, etc., to protect themselves.

    Jeff, I'm a real person. You can Google me and learn that I live in St. Paul, MN 50 years in SD. You'll find links to comments I've made on blogs and reviews I've written of books. Go back farther and you'll find my name for funerals, baptisms and weddings. I officiated many of both.

    I managed two DV shelters in the late 80s, early 90s. I attended many, many workshops, conferences, seminars, etc. I trained law enforcement, presented to the SD Peace Officers annual meeting, etc. That is who I am and my bona fides.

    Who are you and why should I believe you are a professional?

  31. Jenny 2014.03.27

    I think the elephant in the room that maybe Jeff is trying to explain is that women can be very verbally abusive and will a lot of times (try) to physically sock the husband one,if angry enough. I know my own mother was very verbally abusive to my dad and my siblings and I. I don't remember her being physically abusive to my dad. (I think I knew she didn't stand a chance) but she was physically abusive to us children. Now I'm not trying to cry child abuse or anything, but to this day it still haunts me enough to not ever want to hit my daughter the way my mom did with me.
    My dad, on the other hand was a very decent, kind, gentle, old-fashioned father. I say old-fashioned because he never told us he loved us, but we always knew he loved us. I don't think any other man would have been put up constant nagging, criticism and ridicule for over 50 years from the wife. You know what they say, "the fight that lasted 50 years". Good guys are often ashamed and embarrassed to report true physical abuse also, and so while I don't believe it is 40% of DV cases where women are perpetrators, I do think it's higher than 1-3% of cases.

  32. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.27

    I understand what you are saying Jenny, and agree.

    The difference between women perpetrators and male perps is that women are rarely guilty of inflicting critical physical damage. I could have been clearer about that. Either gender can be verbally abusive.

    Divergence comes in the power differential. I'm referring not only to physical strength, a biological male advantage, but also to the many cultural and social advantages males enjoy in the USA. Statistically, males are significantly more violent than women. I think science links that to testosterone, but I'm not sure.

  33. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.27

    Mike. I'm not able to get that link to work either. I can go to, and then click on the "Resources" tab at the top. From the drop down I click on the statistics line, and it downloads. But when I look at the document, all I have is the title page. Maybe the problem relates to my tablet? Rats.

  34. Nick Nemec 2014.03.27

    Jenny, sadly I too know what you speak of.

  35. mike from iowa 2014.03.27

    This one works for me.

  36. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.27


    I've often the phrase "cop culture", I think I know the definition but not sure.
    Does it mean cops protecting one cop? If so, how does it relate to domestic violence?
    Jeff, Joe, CSC aka Mark Black certainly does sound like he has a vested interest in this case.

  37. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.27

    I don't know much about "cop culture" Roger, other than what I've seen on tv.

    And yes, Jeff is very passionate about this and that does make me wonder. Such strong feeling doesn't pop out of thin air.

    Mike, thanks for the link! Good work.

  38. Jeff 2014.03.28

    Deb, you keep playing the dispassionate observer, yet you personalize everything. In a discussion of the issues here, your repeated queries my possible DV history are at the least a distraction and in all likelihood an attempt t vpcrete a straw man. Where have I ever indicated that I feel a need to be the center of your attention? Where is that coming from, over than a desire to deflect and divert the discussion? This whole discussion really int about you and I don't know why you insist on painting yourself as victim. I know at this point that are are certain questions you are never going to answer - like why exactly in a family law matter in which no one has been to have engaged in ny definable act of violence, do you jump into a monograph on homicide? What exactly was the motivation behind that? Your accounts of stalker husbands does not fit the facts in this case, so how are they relevant? If your men are always the brutes theory is correct, how does this account for the rising rates of sexual harassment cases with females as the perpetrators, which coincides with the increase females in positions of authority in business and government? I gave you the proof you had been demanding...which you ignore and then go back to your outdated message of women as the sole victims. Like I said, research shows that women have a significant role as the aggressors. I have observed that females don't need a lot of upper body strength to be able to inflict a lot of damage with a knife, a hammer, or a pan of hot grease. Yes I am passionate - about the fair and equal application of our system of justice. I don't like the lynch mob mentality. I like living in a society hut adheres to the concept that we are a nation of laws, not men. Of course, since you admit that your understanding of cops comes from television, I think we have identified the problem. By the way, I am a real person too. I spent over a quarter of century as a criminal investigator. I have seen first hand the effects of crime on its victims. I also spent 8 years investigating color of law violations and I had absolutely no qualms about pursuing cases against bad cops. I have put my money where my mouth is.

    Jerry. Your big "gotcha" moment fell a little short. Since Agent Black has not been convicted of domestic violence, your big find is completely irrelevant.

    Jenny, I appreciate you sharing the story about the situation between your parents. It does indeed illustrate the complexities of domestic situation and the pitfalls of trying to squeeze a singular situation into a one size fits all template. We find it hard to believe that females can be the aggressors in domestic violence situations because we have been repeatedly told and conditioned to believe otherwise.

    Cory, your idea that Agent Black is guilty by reason of job description is a novel legal theory. In other words, any peace officer who discovers that he or she has been made a victim of identity heft by an ex spouse is barred from making a complaint because the very nature of their job gives them the potential to manipulate or abuse the legal system. Are we going to apply this interpretation evenly? Lawyers are barred from suing on their own behalf? Domestic violence experts could never accuse anyone of victimizing them?

  39. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.28

    All right Jeff. I give up.

    I am a dispassionate observer in terms of providing information. You've made a number of claims supported by saying you are who you are because you say so. What you are hearing is not what I'm writing. Maybe in part that is a problem with written words, lacking inflection and expression. Nonetheless, I'm not willing to repeat myself endlessly.

    Good luck to you Jeff. I'll no longer read your comments.

  40. Jerry 2014.03.28

    Still at it I see, and you are correct, you were not convicted of domestic violence. The article on the ruling by the Court, describes what you did though insofar as pushing and shoving as indicated. You were lucky they did not convict you and you got off by just loosing your job which was and is a great deal for the normal citizens of the state of South Dakota. I just wonder how in the hell you were hired in the first place.

  41. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.28

    Jeff, by no means are law enforcement officers denied the ability to report and seek justice for crimes committed against themselves. But the words Patricia and Mark used made clear that he abused his power. Any abuse of power is wrong, but abuse of power granted by the state deserves special attention.

  42. Jeff 2014.03.29

    Yeah I think we're done here. The simple fact of the matter is that none of your conspiracy theories are supported by the facts, as was borne out by the court. Cory, I know this goes nowhere with you, but there was nothing in the record of this divorce proceeding that indicated the husband had used the power of his office. If he had, this would have certainly been actionable by the judge. Deb, you you may be many hints - partisan advocate yes, dispassionate observer not even close. I would imagine all these questions you did not care to answer have been a very uncomfortable situation for you. Jerry, what can I say? Your attempt to play the role of village idiot is going well. I know you had a good laugh all by yourself accusing me of being the DCI agent. Wrong and irrelevant, as is your custom and pattern. Since no one is really interested I dealing with the facts, have fun spinning your dark conspiracies - and fuming when the real world disappoints you again and again

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.29

    The court rejected none of the facts presented. The judge chose to put mediation over protection. Mark Black made threats of arrest (for crimes as yet unattested by any evidence as mutually agreed to as Mark Black's violent tendencies) that were given greater weight by his position as a cop. He carried his state-issued firearm everywhere. Those are the abuses of power to which I refer.

  44. Les 2014.03.29

    Judges cannot seem to separate law from reality. A wife being beaten into unconsciousness over forty years finally decides she is going to shoot the SOB the next time that happens. She then goes to prison for premeditated or some other charge closely related to murder.
    Officer Black being fired was the easy way out for him. The proper treatment would have been to send him to Leavenworth on the DV charge or when he admitted they both were a part of the DV.
    Judge Fuller was forced out for calling the cops and DA's office out on their games.(power imbalance abuse)

  45. Jerry 2014.03.29

    I am proud to be that village idiot "Jeff" . In my village, you are not welcome as this village idiot has scruples and you clearly have none. Now that we are clear on that, I am glad that you are no longer a gun carrying member of our public safety society, as even we village idiots know that domestic violence is so not cool. This village idiot does have respect for women folk and think you and those like you are cowards without doubt. I would end by saying shame on you but realize that shame is not a word your kind understands.

  46. mike from iowa 2014.03.29

    Since no one is really interested in dealing with the facts, Pot meet Kettle. OMG! you're gonna swear I just insinuated you are on drugs because I used the word pot. Wah,wah,wah!

  47. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.29

    Mark Black is good at hurling insults, answering selected questions, and rants against Deb, but he still hasn't answered why he was fired.

  48. Les 2014.03.29

    The firing wasn't just the easy way out for Black, it was the easy way out for the state in not having to open all that has been shuttered.
    This link needs to be posted nation wide.
    Where is Brendan Johnson while all this is going on?

  49. Jerry 2014.03.29

    Good point Les, where the hell is Brendan Johnson? Maybe south, cause it has been a little cold here. Spring Break Rules!! Maybe we will hear from him soon to tell us that there are no real issues that warrant a warrant that are going on in the state past or present. It is clear that there should be some people that have to answer for all of the theft deception and just plain corruption that has happened.

  50. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.03.29

    It's always a weird experience when what I say is not what the listener hears. It's a little bit "Twilight Zoney."

    It's still sometimes the case that personal experience with a particular type of crime is considered a drawback, especially if we're talking about a woman. As I told Jeff/Mark/whatever, that is most often a benefit. Still, there are people who see such experience as a detriment.

    Think of this: Other than lawyers, who knows more about foreclosure laws than one whose home was threatened? Other than doctors, who knows more about cystic fibrosis than a parent whose child suffers from it?

    Sigh. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I'm pretty sure you hear what I've actually said, rather than attacking me for your perceptions. Thanks Madizens.

  51. Roger Cornelius 2014.03.29


    I'm in the choir and I hear you.

    This is hard to let go, Mark Black please tell us specifically why you were fired. What did your termination letter say were the reasons?

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