Countour Spa at the Hard Rock, v. Seminole Tribe of Florida, et al., No. 11-11997 (11th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This case arose out of a leasing agreement between Contour and the Seminole Tribe. Contour appealed from a district court order dismissing its Amended Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on account of the Tribe's sovereign immunity. The district court rejected Contour's arguments and affirmed the judgment. Because the problems of inconsistency and unfairness that were inherent in the procedural posture of Lapides v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. of Ga. were absent in this case, and because an Indian tribe's sovereign immunity was of a far different character than a state's Eleventh Amendment immunity, the court declined to extend Lapides. In regards to Contour's Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. 1301-1303, claim, it must fail because the Supreme Court had already held that Indian tribes were immune from suit under the statute. Finally, in regards to the equitable estoppel claim, that claim was unavailable because it was grounded on a waiver provision contained within a lease agreement that was wholly invalid as a matter of law.