Equity: Unclean hands doctrine

Don't see too much of the old equitable doctrines or defenses.  This popped up in a contract case.  Defense did not work, but thought I would share it with y'all.

From Gilbert v. Bowling Green Marine, COA, NPO, 3/25/2011

Gilbert argues that Payne was not entitled to equitable relief under the
"unclean hands" doctrine because he did not timely make all of the payments called for in the agreed judgment. "The unclean hands doctrine is a rule of equity that forecloses relief to a party who has engaged in fraudulent, illegal, or unconscionable conduct but does not operate so as to 'repel all sinners from courts of equity.'" Suter v. Mazyck, 226 S.W.3d 837, 843 (Ky. App. 2007) (citing Dunscombe v. Amfot Oil Co., 201 Ky. 290, 256 S.W. 427, 429 (1923)). Payne's failure to make timely payments amounted to a breach of contract. It did not amount to fraudulent, illegal, or unconscionable conduct; therefore, the unclean hands doctrine has no application to this case.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.