I. BACKGROUNDOn March 11, 1969, the Seminole Tribe of Florida agreed to lease lands located within the Seminole Indian Reservation in Broward County, Florida, to Joseph L. Antonucci. The Secretary of the Interior approved the lease. The lease allowed use of the reservation property as a mobile home park with appurtenant commercial facilities, community services, and amenities for the residents. The lease provided that rent would be based either on the lessee’s income from the leased property or a minimum annual amount. The lease required the lessee to provide certified statements of gross receipts each year to assist in rent calculations.
Antonucci and the Tribe first agreed to a term of 50 years for the lease and later extended that term to 55 years. The lease will expire in 2024. The lease has been modified on several occasions, each time with the Secretary’s approval. In 1970, Antonucci assigned the lease to ESCOM Enterprises, and in 1975, ESCOM assigned the lease to De Anza Properties.
In 1986, De Anza Properties assigned the lease to Hollywood Mobile Estates Limited, a Michigan limited partnership. The Tribe and the Secretary approved the assignment and agreed to a related estoppel agreement at the request of Hollywood. The estoppel agreement provided that a certified public accountant in Michigan would prepare the financial statements of Hollywood, allowed encumbrance of the leased property, and provided that the lease had no uncured default at the time of the assignment. In reliance on the estoppel agreement, Hollywood paid the Tribe $400,000. Hollywood also agreed to pay 15 percent of its gross income from the leased property to the Tribe as rent.
Judge(s): William Pryor
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Civil Remedies , Constitutional Law , Government / Politics , Property
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