IncSmart Nevada (Small Business and Startups)
- In Nevada, the defense of the doctrine of unclean hands “derives from the equitable maxim that ‘he who comes into equity must come with clean hands.’?”
Dirty Hands Doctrine defense is where a participant in a wrongful act may not recover damages resulting from it. Omega Industries, Inc. v. Raffaele
, 894 F.Supp
. 1425, 1431 (D.Nev.1995) (quoting Ellenburg v. Brockway, Inc,
763 F.2d 1091, 1097 (9th Cir. 1985)).
The doctrine bars relief to a party who has engaged in improper conduct in the matter in which that party is seeking relief. As such, the alleged inequitable conduct relied upon must be connected with the matter in litigation, otherwise the doctrine is not available as a defense. Gravelle v. Burchett, 73 Nev. 333, 342, 319 P.2d 140, 145 (1957). Truck Ins. Exchange v. Palmer J. Swanson, Inc., 124 Nev. 59 (Nev. 2008); Locken v. Locken, 98 Nev. 369, 650 P.2d 803 (1982).
Dirty hands doctrine refers to an equitable defense available to a defendant against the plaintiff. In this defense, the defendant can claim that the plaintiff should not be granted relief because the plaintiff has acted in bad faith regarding the subject matter of the complaint. A person is abstained from receiving equitable relief when plaintiff acts in bad faith or in an unethical manner. The rule embodied in this doctrine is that the participant in a wrongful act may not recover damages resulting from it. Generally it is the defendant who claims the defense; hence, the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that the plaintiff is not acting in good faith. This doctrine is also known as the unclear hands doctrine.
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