We consider initial determination of orbits for trans-neptunian objects (TNOs), a topical theme because of the rapidly growing TNO population and the challenges in recovering lost TNOs. We apply the method of initial phase-space ranging of orbits to the poorly observed TNOs. The rigorous a posteriori probability density of the TNO orbital elements is examined using a Monte Carlo technique by varying the TNO topocentric ranges corresponding to the observation dates. We can optionally adopt a Bayesian approach to select the region of phase space containing the most plausible orbits. This is accomplished by incorporating semimajor axes, eccentricities, inclinations, and absolute magnitudes of multi-apparition TNOs as a priori information. The resulting a posteriori distributions permit ephemeris and ephemeris uncertainty prediction for TNO recovery observations.