Latin word for in fact. A term used to denote a thing actually done; a president of the United States de facto is one in the exercise of the executive power, and is distinguished from one, who being legally entitled to such power is ejected from it; the latter would be a president de jure. An officer de facto is frequently considered as an officer de jure, and his official acts are of equal validity.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In fact, in deed, actually. This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government a past action, or a state of affairs which exists actually and must be accepted for all practical purposes, but which is illegal or illegitimate. In this sense it is the contrary of de jure, which means rightful, legitimate, Just, or constitutional. Thus, an officer, king, or government de facto is one who is in actual possession of the office or supreme power, but by usurpation, or without respect to lawful title; while an officer, king, or governor de jure is one who has just claim and rightful title to the office or power, but who has never had plenary possession of the same, or is not now in actual possession. 4 Bl. Comm. 77, 78. ?o a wife de facto is one whose marriage is voidable by decree, as distinguished from a wife de jure, or lawful wife. 4 Kent Comm. 36. But the term is also frequently used independently of any distinction from dc jure; thus a blockade de facto is a blockade which is actually maintained, as distinguished from a mere paper blockade. As to de facto “Corporation,” “Court,” “Domicile,” “Government,” and “Officer,” see those titles. In old English law. De facto means respecting or concerning the principal act of a murder, which was technically denominated factum. See Fleta, lib. 1, c. 27,