What is the Legal Doctrine of “Unclean Hands” in California?
What is the Legal Doctrine of Unclean Hands in California?
A plaintiff’s claim to recover under a quantum meruit theory is governed by principles of equity. Mains v. City Title Ins. Co. (1949) 34 Cal.2d 580, 586. In accordance with the maxim that no one can take advantage of his or her own wrong, those who seek the aid of equity must come into court in good faith. Samuelson v. Ingraham (1969) 272 Cal.App.2d 804. Any unconscionable conduct that relates to the transaction may give rise to the defense of unclean hands and bar relief. Id; Aguayo v. Amaro (2013) 213 Cal.App.4 1102, 1110 [any conduct that violates conscience, good faith or other equitable standards of conduct is sufficient to invoke the doctrine of unclean hands].