California’s protection & advocacy system

For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA

or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.


Disability Rights California
1831 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Telephone (916) 575-1610
Fax (916) 575-1613



Advocacy is the process of promoting and representing patients’ / individuals’ rights and interests through direct assistance, monitoring, training, and policy review. California has a legislatively mandated Patients' Rights Advocacy system made up of three components:

  1. California Office of Patients' Rights
  2. State Hospital Patients' Rights Advocate’s
  3. County Patients’ Rights Advocates



The Patients’ Rights Advocates (PRA) in the state hospitals are employees of Disability Rights California.  The California Office of Patients' Rights is contracted by the Department of Mental Health to ensure that the treatment and legal rights of people receiving mental health treatment are maintained.
Disability Rights California is a nonprofit agency that provides legal and other advocacy assistance to people with disabilities.  Disability Rights California began protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities in 1978.
Under the contract with California's Department of Mental Health, Disability Rights California operates the California Office of Patients' Rights (C.O.P.R.) to provide support to Patients' Rights Advocates in the counties and employs a Patients' Rights Advocate at each State Hospital to directly advocate for the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities.


The legislative mandated duties of the Patients' Rights Advocate are:

  • To investigate and resolve complaints received from individuals about violations or abuse of their rights and/or to cause the investigation of such complaints.
  • To act as an advocate for individuals who are unable or afraid to file a complaint.
  • To monitor facilities for compliance with patients’ rights, laws, regulations, and policies.
  • To train staff in areas regarding patients’ rights, laws, regulations, and policies.
  • To assist staff in ensuring that all individuals are notified of their rights, including the right to contact the Advocate and the California Office of Patients’ Rights.
  • To act as a consultant to mental health professionals in the area of Patients’ rights.
  • To act as a liaison between the facility’s advocacy program and the California Office of Patients’ Rights.

In addition to the legislatively mandated functions above, the DMH contract delegates to the California Office of Patients' Rights the responsibility for coordinating the hospital patient complaint process, to include the intake and tracking of all complaints, identification of patients’ rights issues for advocate investigation or response and the referral of all other complaints to appropriate program/department staff for response and/or resolution.


Our main office is located in Sacramento (address above)


Main Office Staff

  • Michele Mudgett – Director
  • Ann Coller – Patients’ Rights Specialist
  • Agnes Lintz  - Patients' Rights Specialist
  • Jame Chang - Appeals Coordinator
  • Griselda Alvarez - Office Manager

Atascadero State Hospital

  • Manuel "Lucas" Campos, Patients' Rights Advocate
  • Kathy Kalem, Patients' Rights Advocate

Coalinga State Hospital

  • Daniel Wagoner, Patients’ Rights Advocate
  • Nayeli Estrada, Assistant Patients’ Rights Advocate

Metropolitan State Hospital

  • Warren Rogers, Patients’ Rights Advocate
  • Maria Garcia, Patients’ Rights Advocate Assistant

Napa State Hospital

  • Kelli Hagstrom, Patients’ Rights Advocate
  • Melina Llamas, Assistant Patients' Rights Advocate

Patton State Hospital

  • Priscilla Torres, Patients’ Rights Advocate
  • Paula McCord-Watier, Supervising Advocate Specialist