Case hearing scheduled
The 2019 livestock brand-inspection misdemeanor case against Rex. F. Rammell is picking up where it left off eight months ago in Sublette County Circuit Court.
Rammell contested five citations after a deputy stopped him in June 2019, and he did not have current brand inspections for horses he was moving from Sweetwater to Sublette County. Rammell has a Rock Springs mailing address and owns a veterinary clinic in Pinedale.
Rammell argued the state law requiring brand inspections between counties violates his rights and the deputy’s stop constituted a “warrantless seizure.”
Sublette County Deputy Attorney Stan Cannon countered Wyoming Statute 11-21-103(a) was indeed a constitutional law.
At the start, Judge Curt Haws assigned the case to Magistrate Clay Kainer, who agreed in early December 2019 with Rammell’s motion to suppress the deputy’s report as evidence. Magistrate Kainer, however, was not officially appointed and did not have authority to rule on evidence suppression.
The Sublette County Attorney’s Office mounted its own challenge of Kainer’s ruling, which Judge Haws found to be “reasonable.” Cannon petitioned a higher court – Ninth District Court – and Judge Marv Tyler transferred it to Fourth District Judge John Fenn.
Judge Fenn ruled Kainer’s decision “null and void” and remanded it to Circuit Court for a different legal analysis. He placed the burden of proof on Rammell, saying, “Upon remand, Rammell will have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the law is constitutionally defective.”
Judge Haws then transferred the case to Third Circuit Court Judge Gregory Corpening.
Cannon requested the final hearing so Rammell had an opportunity to meet his burden of proving WS 11-21-103(a) unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is the only question left before the court.
Rammell’s hearing is set for Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. in Sublette County Circuit Court. If Judge Corpening rules the statute is constitutional, the Sublette County Attorney’s Office could proceed to trial.
Rammell has waived his right to a speedy trial. An alternative would be his pleading guilty to transporting the horses without proper brand inspections.
Joy Ufford is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.