Ore Tenus Law and Legal Definition

Ore tenus refers to verbal or oral statements and the practice of a presumption of correctness the appeals court gives to the findings of fact reached by a trial court in a nonjury case. In divorce cases in some jurisdictions, if all issues, such as grounds for divorce and distribution of property, are totally uncontested, a party may make a motion for an ore tenus hearing, requesting the court to hear the evidence ore tenus (in court).

For example, in an uncontested divorce case in Virginia, an "ore tenus" hearing may be requested, where the divorcing spouse appears in court, along with a witness, directly in front of the judge, instead of appearing at a commissioner's hearing.