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General Laws

Section 55. If a child has been summoned to appear or is brought before such court upon a warrant, as provided in section fifty-four, a summons shall be issued to at least one of its parents, if either of them is known to reside within the commonwealth, and, if there is no such parent, then to its lawful guardian, if there is one known to be so resident, and if not, then to the person with whom such child resides, if known. Said summons shall require the person served to appear at a time and place stated therein, and show cause why such child should not be adjudged a delinquent child and why it is not in such child’s best interest that he be removed from his home and whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal from his home. If there is no such parent, guardian or person who can be summoned as aforesaid, the court may appoint a suitable person to act for such child. A parent, guardian or person with whom such child resides who is summoned to appear before the court to show cause why such child shall not be adjudged a delinquent child by reason of having committed the offense of wilful or malicious destruction or wanton destruction of property, in violation of the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-seven or one hundred and twenty-seven A of chapter two hundred and sixty-six, and who wilfully fails to so appear shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred nor more than three hundred dollars.

If such child is summoned, the time for appearance fixed in the summons to a parent, guardian or other person, as herein provided, shall, when practicable, be that fixed for the appearance of said child.

A summons required by this and said section fifty-four, unless service thereof is waived in writing, shall be served by a constable or police officer, by delivering it personally to the person to whom addressed, or by leaving it with a person of proper age to receive the same, at the place of residence or business of such person; and said constable or officer shall immediately make return to the court of the time and manner of the service.

If the court shall be of the opinion that the interests of the child require the attendance at any proceedings of an agent of the department of youth services and shall request such attendance by reasonable notice to the commissioner of youth services, such agent shall attend to protect the interests of said child.

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