Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

PETITIONER: Lake Country Estates, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
LOCATION: Butler Residence

DOCKET NO.: 77-1327
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 440 US 391 (1979)
ARGUED: Dec 04, 1978
DECIDED: Mar 05, 1979

ADVOCATES:
E. Clement Shute, Jr. - for respondents
John J. Bartko - for petitioners
Kenneth C. Rollston - for respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 05, 1979 in Lake Country Estates, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Number 1327, Lake Country Estates, Incorporated, against Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will be announced by Mr. Justice Stevens and he will also announce State of Nevada against Hall.

John Paul Stevens:

Both of these cases they have special interest to people from Nevada and California although the two cases are unrelated.

The principle question in the first of the case is Number 77-1327 is whether the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency which was created by a compact between the States of California and Nevada is entitled to claim the same immunity from suit in a federal court that the States themselves have under the Eleventh Amendment to the Federal Constitution.

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Agency is immune from suit and further held that when the members of the Agency’s governing body are performing legislative acts, they are entitled to the same immunity as state legislators.

Today, we unanimously hold that the Regional Planning Agency does not have the same immunity under the Eleventh Amendment as the States do.

And by vote of six to three, we hold that the individual defendants have a personal immunity comparable to that of state legislators.

On the latter issue, Mr. Justice Brennan, Mr. Justice Marshall, and Mr. Justice Blackmun have filed dissenting opinions.

We therefore affirm in part and reverse in part the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.