unclean hands
un·clean hands n pl: an equitable doctrine: a complainant will be denied relief if he or she has engaged in misconduct (as acting in bad faith) directly relating to the complaint; also: the condition of having engaged in such misconduct and being barred from equitable relief
may not be invoked by a plaintiff with unclean handsRoyal Sch. Labs., Inc. v. Town of Watertown, 358 F.2d 813 (1966)
◇ Unclean hands on the part of the plaintiff is often pleaded as an affirmative defense by the defendant.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

unclean hands
n.
The equitable doctrine that a plaintiff’s own fault must be considered when determining the remedy he or she should receive from a defendant. See also clean hands doctrine

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


unclean hands
Category: If, When & Where to File a Lawsuit
Category: Mediation, Arbitration & Collaborative Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits
Category: Working With a Lawyer

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


unclean hands
n. The doctrine that a party seeking damages or redress in a suit cannot have done anything illegal or dishonest himself in the transaction with which the suit is concerned; an equitable principle stemming from the concept that one who has done wrong should not recover from another who may also have done wrong.
See also clean hands.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

unclean hands
n.
   a legal doctrine which is a defense to a complaint, which states that a party who is asking for a judgment cannot have the help of the court if he/she has done anything unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit. Thus, if a defendant can show the plaintiff had "unclean hands," the plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed or the plaintiff will be denied judgment. Unclean hands is a common "affirmative defense" pleaded by defendants and must be proved by the defendant. Example: Hank Hardnose sues Grace Goodenough for breach of contract for failure to pay the full amount for construction of an addition to her house. Goodenough proves that Hardnose had shown her faked estimates from subcontractors to justify his original bid to Goodenough.
   See also: affirmative defense

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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