University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Mental Health in the Military
September 9, 2019
This lawsuit by Tyson Manker and the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress (litigated by a Yale Law School clinic) challenges the Naval Discharge Review Board’s denial of almost 90% of applications by Navy and Marine Corps veterans to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges received as a result of behaviors connected to their service-acquired mental health issues. These less-than-honorable discharges, received due to mental health issues such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI), prevent veterans from accessing essential benefits, such as the GI bill and much needed mental health care. Manker alleges that these unfair discharges and denied appeals violate the applicants’ due process rights.

On November 15, 2008, Senior District Judge Charles Haight Jr. granted the plaintiffs' request for class certification. The class includes thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who received less-than-honorable discharges, have not received upgrades of their discharges from the Naval Discharge Review Board, and have diagnoses of PTSD, TBI, or other related mental health conditions attributable to their military service. This class action is proceeding in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut.

Relevant case(s) include:

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