CLEAN-HANDS DOCTRINE

CLEAN-HANDS DOCTRINE

clean-hands doctrine. The principle that a party cannot seek equitable relief or assert an equitable defense if that party has violated an equitable principle, such as good faith. ? Such a party is described as having ¡°unclean hands.¡± For example, ¡ì 8 of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act contains an unclean-hands provision that forbids a court from exercising jurisdiction in a child-custody suit in certain situations, as when one party has wrongfully removed a child from another state, has improperly retained custody of a child after visitation, or has wrongfully removed a child from the person with custody. The clean-hands doctrine evolved from the discretionary nature of equitable relief in English courts of equity, such as Chancery. ¡ª Also termed unclean-hands doctrine. [Cases: Equity 65. C.J.S. Equity ¡ì 102.]
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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.