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A federal judge in Manhattan has allowed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement to proceed over claims the agency was negligent in not providing a person in custody with proper medical care at discharge, resulting in a mental health emergency that required months of intense medical treatment.

Michelet Charles, a lawful permanent resident, claims to have been diagnosed with bipolar and schizoaffective disorders for the past 35 years. Medication and other treatments helped him manage his mental health issues for years, allowing him to work, have a family, and participate in society in general, according to court filings.

In July 2014, ICE took Charles into custody, placing him in the Orange County Correctional Center. He was one of the hundreds of detainees federal immigration authorities place in the facility each year. Despite being detained at the facility, Charles claimed that ICE had direct custody over him at key points, including immediately before his release.

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Colby Hamilton

B. Colby Hamilton is a litigation reporter for the New York Law Journal and Law.com.

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