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Jury Denies Wrongful Termination Claim in Stinchfield Lawsuit with City of Sidney


April 21, 2021 | View PDF

A jury handed down a unanimous decision in favor of the City of Sidney in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former police officer Robert Stinchfield.

Stinchfield’s termination followed the completion of a one-year probation period in 2017. In court filings, Stinchfield alleged that supervising officers ignored misconduct by fellow employees and he was singled out because he did not fit in with the group. The complaint states, “Officers who do not fit in with this wrongful pattern and practice are hounded out of the Sidney Police Department by the creation of false accusations.”

In response to the complaint the city refuted these claims. Court documents stated, “Plaintiff’s performance as an employee was inadequate to the degree that it violated his obligation to act fairly and in good faith with respect to Sidney, thereby giving Sidney the right under Montana law to terminate his employment.”

Arguments for the case were made in the Seventh Judicial District Court April 13-16. Presiding judge was the Honorable Kaydee Snipes-Ruiz. After a short deliberation the jury unanimously ruled in favor of the city.


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