Rammell files lawsuit for damages causedby search and seizure incident
In June of 2019, Former Wyoming Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Rex Rammell was stopped by Sublette County Deputy Sheriff Ty Huffman while transporting four horses and a colt and issued four citations for not having proper brand inspection permits.
Following the incident, Rammell was found guilty in Sublette County Circuit Court and sentenced to fines of over $1,200. He later appealed his conviction, but ultimately lost the case.
In the most recent update, Rammell filed a lawsuit against Huffman and Sublette County Sheriff K.C. Lehr in Federal District Court on March 28, requesting more than $12 million in damages for what he believes was a civil rights violation.
Section 1983 lawsuit
According to an article in the Casper Star Tribune, written by Sofia Saric and published on March 29, Rammell’s case is considered a Section 1983 lawsuit – a legal claim allowing a person to sue an individual, state or local official who has violated their civil rights under the constitution.
Rammell believes this type of lawsuit has a way of “working around the qualified immunity law enforcement is typically granted.”
He also argues the Wyoming statute allowing law enforcement to check for proper brand inspection is unconstitutional in that it is unlawful to stop someone transporting animals without basis.
Compensation for damages
Rammell explains the $12 million he is seeking through the lawsuit is for court costs, lost opportunities, negative impacts to his reputation and severe emotional distress caused by the incident.
“The case consumed over three years of the plaintiff’s life,” reads the complaint. “The plaintiff is a veterinarian and purchased a building to open up a clinic in Pinedale. The notoriety of the case damaged Rammell’s reputation and business.”
An April 3 article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, written by Jasmine Hall, explains Rammell discontinued his veterinary services in December of 2020, after struggling to sustain adequate business. He put the building up for sale, which is still yet to be sold.
In the article, Rammell claims the incident also damaged his reputation, resulting in a loss during the race for the state Senate seat in District 14 and another loss when he ran for governor in 2022.
“Rammell’s reputation has been damaged, causing him a significant amount of emotional distress,” reads the complaint. “His economic opportunity in Sublette County as a veterinarian has been completely removed. Investment and time lost due to the damage this case has done to him is substantial.”
Therefore, Rammell notes he ultimately hopes to be compensated for the economic damages, loss of reputation and emotional stress he has suffered due to the negative publicity surrounding “his fight against the violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.”
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.