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