What Is the Clean Hands Doctrine?
The Clean Hands Doctrine, also called unclean hands, is a defense to a claim for equitable relief, typically an injunction or specific performance. A defendant can argue that the plaintiff has no grounds to obtain relief because he has acted unethically or in bad faith with respect to the subject of the complaint. The defendant has the burden to prove that the plaintif is not acting in good faith, or that his hands are unclean. The doctrine is sometimes stated as those seeking equity must do equity.