Judge orders ‘indecent’ and ‘scandalous’ filings stricken in Rehbel Industries’ receivership case

Pot entrepreneur's 614 handwritten pages also called 'immaterial' and 'impertinent'


FRIDAY, March 17 — Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk has ordered all of the handwritten filings by Lansing marijuana entrepreneur Michael Doherty stricken from the court files in his receivership case.

"Defendant Michael Doherty’s filings constitute offensive and inflammatory material, and are redundant, immaterial, impertinent, scandalous, and indecent, thereby warranting they be stricken,” Draganchuk’s orders issued on Thursday read.

As detailed by City Pulse this week, Doherty’s dreams of creating a recognized marijuana brand began to crumble around him in March 2022 when creditors sought a receivership to protect over $10 million in investment. Two other creditors eventually joined the case, raising the indebtedness of his two businesses to over $12 million. 

Doherty bought and converted a portion of the John Bean Building, on South Cedar Street, into his manufacturing facility. The century-plus-old brick warehouse is more than 460,000 square feet.  The receivers have placed it for sale for $7.75 million.

Doherty is battling with four separate creditors to retain control of Rehbel and MD Industries, both limited liability companies. He filed a series of handwritten motions in the court this month that totaled 614 pages. It argued that creditors and the court-appointed receiver had worked together to take his business — calling it a “hostile takeover.”

The screed was filled with printed copies of internet definitions, Wikipedia pages, movie quotes, biblical quotes and more. In the filing he assailed the character of the creditors, accusing them of owning too much property, not understanding the marijuana business and of personal failings in marital relationships. 

Draganchuk issued two orders related to Doherty’s bid to represent himself in the court and filings with the court. Acting on a motion by the receiver, John Polderman of Simon PLLC, Draganchuk ordered the filings submitted by Doherty to the court March 2 through 7 be stricken from court records and redacted, leaving only the name of the filing in the court records. The second order directed the courts to take the same actions for documents filed between March 7 and March 16. 

In addition to striking the filings from the records, Draganchuk also prohibited Doherty from “filing anything with the Court that does not comport with the requirements of the Michigan Rules of Court.”

The pot grower has lost two attorneys in the last year and opted to represent himself. He was warned in writing and by Draganchuk that he could only represent himself because Michigan court rules require a licensed attorney to represent businesses in the state. Acting on his own, Doherty’s filings attempted to provide a defense for his businesses, in violation of the court’s warnings. 

He will be back in court on April 4 to explain why Draganchuk should not hold him in criminal contempt —potentially putting him in jail for up to 93 days and issuing a fine of $7,500 — for allegedly violating her orders. 


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