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Rhode Island to Speed Food Stamp Processing Under Court-Approved Settlement

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice, together with the Rhode Island ACLU through Cooperating Attorney Lynette Labinger of Roney & Labinger LLP, filed suit on July 6, 2009 against the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services for failure to process applications for food stamps within time frames required by law. The suit, Spruill v. Alexander, was filed in federal district court for the district of Rhode Island. The lawsuit, a class action, maintains that Rhode Island is engaging in a pattern and practice of failing to process food stamp applications within 30 days and fails to process applications entitled to expedited processing within 7 days.

On October 19th, a U.S. District Court judge signed off on a settlement in which Rhode Island agrees to meet federal deadlines for processing food stamp applications.  The case was filed by NCLEJ and the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.
For further information, contact Cary LaCheen, National Center for Law and Economic Justice, at 212-633-6967 or lacheen(at)

Spruill Food Stamp Settlement Press Release (PDF)

Providence Journal Article on Approval of Settlement