SUBLETTE COUNTY – The six-person jury trial requested by veterinarian Dr. Rex Rammell, of Rock Springs, is set for Wednesday, April 28, in a Pinedale courtroom.
Rammell pleaded not guilty to not having brand inspections for five horses he brought from Sweetwater County to Sublette County in June 2019. He has argued the brand inspection law is unconstitutional and violates his right against search and seizure.
Sublette County Circuit Court Judge Curt Haws transferred the case most recently to 3rd District Circuit Judge Gregory Corpening, who presided over the Feb. 17 pretrial videoconference with Rammell and deputy county attorney Stan Cannon.
Rammell told Judge Corpening he was unaware of the hearing until Cannon emailed him. He asked if the judge, Cannon and Circuit Court Clerk Amy Knotts received his mailed motion to continue the trial. Also, he mailed an appeal to 9th District Court on Friday from Rock Springs, he said.
Rammell said he is appealing last year’s civil declaratory judgment of presiding 4th District Judge John Fenn, who overturned and remanded a decision by former Magistrate Clay Kainer.
Kainer had acted outside his authority without being officially appointed by the Sublette Circuit Court and county commissioners. Judge Fenn ruled Kainer erred by favoring Rammell’s argument that Deputy Ty Huffman’s report of stopping Rammell was inadmissible evidence.
Rammell said he wants to delay the trial while his District Court civil action – not received by press time – is reviewed. Cannon said he would object to Rammell’s motion.
“This case has gone on a really long time and to the point where, if it’s going to trial, it’s time to get it there,” Judge Corpening said.
He continued planning the trial around COVID precautions and questioned Rammell several times about representing himself, advising him to consider retaining an attorney.
“Are you certain you want to proceed without counsel?” Judge Corpening asked.
“I told you – I’m not certain about anything,” Rammell said, adding only that “today” he was okay with it. “I still am optimistic this case will never go to trial.”
However, Rammell declined to waive his right to counsel, adding he needed more time for questions than he had that day.
Judge Corpening set another pretrial session for Monday, March 22, at 2 p.m.