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Nevada Law Library

Unclean Hands Doctrine (A Defense)

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.’ ”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).