Court denies relief in GEO beating case
The fraternal guardian for a former inmate who remains in a coma from a July 2015 beating at the Lawton Correctional Facility was denied relief from the state Court of Civil Appeals.
The opinion, rendered May 11 by judges from the Oklahoma Supreme Court of Civil Appeals Judge Kenneth Buettner and Judge Robert Bell, concurred with Comanche County District Judge Gerald F. Neuwirth's May 17, 2017, decision to deny the case with prejudice, according to court records. A case dismissed with prejudice is considered over and can't be brought back to court. An appeal could theoretically still be made to the United States Supreme Court.
The case was first filed in Comanche County District Court on June 29, 2016, by Michael Schauf, guardian of Daniel Lee Boling III who is incapacitated. The plaintiffs sought relief in excess of $10,000 against The GEO Group, a Florida corporation doing business as the Lawton Correctional Facility, as well as Randy Glenn Mounce and the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, also based out of Florida.
According to the ruling, the plaintiffs didn't assert the claim against Mounce and GEO Group within 180 days of the date the claim was deemed denied. An amended petition that named the defendants for the first time "does not relate back to the date of filing of the original petition" and, therefore, Neuwirth didn't err in granting the defendant's motion to dismiss, the judges ruled.
The suit stems from the July 3, 2015, afternoon beating that put Boling, 25, of Tulsa, into a coma.
According to a Constitution story from the time, Lawton police reported he'd suffered severe lacerations to the head. The assault by Mounce, Boling's cellmate, put him in the condition in which he remains, Schauf said in the lawsuit.
Boling, who was serving a sentence for convictions of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and false declaration of ownership in pawn, was scheduled to be released from Department of Corrections (DOC) custody on Aug. 23, 2015, records indicate.
A February 1996 guilty plea for first-degree murder in Washita County District Court sent Mounce, 41, of Holdenville, to prison with a life without parole sentence. He is housed in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, records indicate.
Schauf stated in the suit that he was appointed his brother's guardian in December 2015, and on Jan. 13, 2016, he filed a notice of claim to comply with the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (OGTCA). He contended that the defendants failed to produce records concerning the assault and a request was made to the DOC in late March 2016 and they were provided the following June. Additional requests for documents were made in August and October 2016 and the DOC responded in October 2016 and January 2017, respectively. The plaintiff's expert's affidavit was issued March 9, 2017.