unclean hands

noun plural
un·​clean hands

Legal Definition of unclean hands

: 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 hands Royal Sch. Labs., Inc. v. Town of Watertown, 358 F.2d 813 (1966)

Note: Unclean hands on the part of the plaintiff is often pleaded as an affirmative defense by the defendant.

Learn More About unclean hands

Dictionary Entries Near unclean hands

uncertificated security

unclean hands

unconditional

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Unclean hands.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/unclean%20hands. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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