unclean hands


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Related to unclean hands: Equitable estoppel

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, which 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 which she admits. The court denies any relief to Hardnose when Goodenough proves that Hardnose had shown her faked estimates from subcontractors to justify his original bid to Goodenough. (See: affirmative defense)

unclean hands

noun a blemished record, a record of proven fault, equitable defense, improper history, perronal deficiencies, personal problems, problems in the past, tainted past
References in periodicals archive ?
The only reason he has shown his unclean hands is because he has been pressured to do so by the law suit pending in the High Court.
Infections also can happen when unclean instruments are used to pierce the ears and when the ear lobe is handled by unclean hands.
WHAT sort of Muslims are the Guantanamo internees who have so readily grasped at money from the unclean hands of infidels?
Unclean hands could pass bacteria from one food to another.
And then there was the case of the sad doctor Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), the Hungarian physician at a great hospital in Vienna who concocted the irrational idea that childbirth (puerperal) fever was infectious and transmitted by midwives and doctors with unclean hands and sheets, and who was so ridiculed for the absurdity of requiring them to wash their hands before and to burn the sheets after infant delivery that he left Vienna and returned to his native Hungary--where he was further so vilified that he went insane and committed suicide.
When they fretted about how Jesus' followers spoke of holy things yet ate their meals with unclean hands, he cut them off bluntly.
The "riotous and unclean hands of the naturalists" were abetted, Sherman proposed, by aesthetic and literary philosophies "import[ed] .
in the coat room I removed the pants I'd been allowed to wear for the snow my father already taking his place among the davening men while I slipped into a row of silent women, off to the side where we were not permitted to touch the Torah or even its garments with our unclean hands
These germs can be transmitted to others through contact with hands, surfaces, uncooked meat and vegetables when touched by unclean hands.
Improper handling can include using the meter with unclean hands, pressing the finger too hard and too long on the test field or smearing the blood while performing a test.
CONSIDERING the report on people having unclean hands, I think the problem lies, largely, in the design of public toilets.
The unclean hands doctrine is derived from the maxim that "he who comes into equity must come with clean hands.