Law Dictionary

unclean hands

noun plural un·clean hands

Legal Definition of unclean hands

  1. :  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)

Additional Notes on unclean hands

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


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