Gemmell v. RI DHS - A court case that The ACLU of Rhode Island is currently involved in.


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Gemmell v. RI DHS (2016)

Category: Active Case    Discrimination    Rights of the Poor    Due Process    

About This Case:
This is a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of RI and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ) over the state’s ongoing, critical, and widespread failure to timely provide food stamp benefits to needy families due in large part to its transition to a new, and very troubled, computer system. The lawsuit argues that the “systematically inadequate and faulty statewide implementation of a new integrated computer system” designed to determine food stamp eligibility “continues to cause thousands of households to suffer the imminent risk of hunger as a result of being denied desperately needed assistance to help them feed their families.”

Current Status:
In November 2017, U.S. District Judge William Smith appointed a special master tasked with overseeing a plan of action that will compel the state's compliance with the existing court order.  Also in November 2017, the ACLU of RI re-staffed our hotline for people experiencing delays with their SNAP application processing as a result of the UHIP fiasco.

ACLU Cooperating Attorney:
Lynette Labinger

Related Case:
Scherwitz v. Beane (2018)

Related Documents
Related News Releases
  • Apr 09, 2018 - DHS Timeliness in Processing SNAP Applications Decreased in February, Report Shows
  • Dec 19, 2017 - Latest Figures From State on Timely Provision of Food Stamp Benefits Remain “Alarming”
  • Nov 20, 2017 - ACLU Says Latest Figures From State on Providing Food Stamp Benefits are “Jaw-Dropping”
  • Nov 16, 2017 - ACLU Re-Staffs Hotline for UHIP-Related Food Stamp Complaints: 1-877-231-7171
  • Nov 02, 2017 - ACLU Statement on Court’s Appointment of a Special Master to Oversee UHIP
  • Oct 31, 2017 - Important Court Hearing Scheduled on UHIP Debacle
  • Oct 24, 2017 - ACLU Statement on the State’s Acknowledgement of Thousands of Unprocessed UHIP Applications
  • Oct 03, 2017 - ACLU Goes After UHIP Again in Court; Seeks More Legal Help for Needy Families
  • May 18, 2017 - Report Shows Lack of Improvement by Department of Human Services In Processing SNAP Benefits
  • May 04, 2017 - Report Shows RI Department of Human Services Still Far Behind in Processing SNAP Benefits
  • Feb 24, 2017 - Lawsuit Settled Over Food Stamp Benefit Delays Caused by UHIP
  • Jan 25, 2017 - ACLU Sets Up Hotline for UHIP-Related Food Stamp Complaints
  • Dec 09, 2016 - ACLU Sues State Over Food Stamp Benefit Delays Caused by UHIP Computer Debacle