Case Status:

Disability Rights Michigan (DRM) settled with Defendant Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

Case filed (started): May 2018

Main Concern

If a judge finds someone not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), the State of Michigan should treat their mental health needs without unnecessary restrictions.


Disability Rights Michigan, when it was still Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, sued the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services claiming rights violations of people found NGRI.

In July 2021 DRM and MDHHS settled the lawsuit. MDHHS did not agree that it had done anything wrong but did agree to make many changes in their policies about how NGRI patients receive treatment and how NGRI Committee supervises that treatment.

The changes are meant to increase patients’ freedom in the community and protect patients’ rights while keeping NGRI Committee involved in patients’ care after release from the hospital.


DRM settled this case in the summer of 2021. This meant DRM did not go to trial. Instead, MDHHS agreed to make major changes in the way NGRI patients are treated, including removing restrictions not connected to their mental health treatments.

Case name: Pelichet, et al., v. Herlel, et al., 2:18-cv-11385

Plaintiffs: Darryl Pelichet, Bonn Washington, Joshua Regland, Darius Bickerstaff, Disability Rights Michigan (Then Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service).

Defendants: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), members of the Michigan Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Committee, and various other individuals.

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