I have spoken of the unclean hands of the HOA in “HOA Common Sense No.4, Consent to be governed” and in “No.8, Draconian punishment and intimidation.” Unclean hands is a legal doctrine that denies a plaintiff’s (HOA) complaint if the plaintiff has done anything wrongful or unfair relating to the issue at hand. If a defendant (homeowner) can show the plaintiff had “unclean hands,” the plaintiff’s complaint will be dismissed or the plaintiff will be denied judgment.
In his dissenting opinion in Olmstead v US (1928) Justice Brandeis wrote (my emphasis),
The governing principle has long been settled. It is that a court will not redress a wrong when he who invokes its aid has unclean hands. The maxim of unclean hands comes from courts of equity. But the principle prevails also in courts of law. Its common application is in civil actions between private parties. Where the government is the actor, the reasons for applying it are even more persuasive.
The court’s aid is denied only when he who seeks it has violated the law in connection with the very transaction as to which he seeks legal redress. Then aid is denied despite the defendant’s wrong. It is denied in order to maintain respect for law; in order to promote confidence in the administration of justice; in order to preserve the judicial process from contamination.
This doctrine also applies to the government at all levels. As Brandeis continued in his dissent,
In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
And it also applies to HOA private governments, because it’s an equitable protection. We all know that HOA boards have, in all too many instances, grossly dirty unclean hands. We see the anarchy with 50 different state laws and the 324,000, more or less, independent CC&Rs “constitutions.”
 Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928). This case involved federal wiretapping, which back in 1928, the SC found no violation of the Constitution.