Section 18. The attorney general shall bring an action in the superior court by an information or petition in equity against any organization which he has reasonable cause to believe is a subversive organization. The fact that such information or petition has been or is to be filed shall not be made public until an order of notice, hereinafter referred to, is issued.
A justice of the superior court shall, upon a summary examination of the information or petition and such supporting depositions, other testimony or evidence as he may require, if he is of the opinion that there is reasonable cause to believe that such organization is subversive, issue an order of notice against such organization to show cause why there should not be an adjudication to that effect. Notice of such order of notice shall be sent by registered mail to such officers of such organization as are known to the court, and to any other persons, including members, as the court may order, at least fourteen days before the return day of said order of notice. Notice of such order shall also be given by publication once each week for two successive weeks in a daily newspaper published in the city of Boston. Any officer or member of any such organization or its attorney may appear and answer on its behalf on or before the return day or such later time as the court may allow. The respondent shall have the right to claim a trial by jury within the time allowed for filing its answer or within such further time as the court may allow within its discretion. If no person appears and answers the court may on its own motion or upon motion of the petitioner default the organization. If an appearance is entered and answer filed the case shall be set down for a speedy hearing.
Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the usual course of proceedings in equity, including all rights of exception and appeal. Upon such hearing or upon default the court may make an adjudication that the organization is a subversive organization and may enjoin such organization from acting further as such, may order the dissolution of the organization and shall cause the secretary of state to be notified of the finding of the court; provided, however, that the effectiveness of any such adjudication, injunction and order shall be stayed pending determination by the supreme judicial court of any exceptions or appeals; or the court may find that the organization is not a subversive organization. Upon any final determination that the organization is subversive notice thereof shall be published by the secretary of state once each week for two successive weeks in a daily newspaper published in the city of Boston and the court shall order any funds or property of such organization turned over to the treasurer of the commonwealth which shall then be considered escheated. The fact that proceedings have begun or findings or decision made under this section shall not be admissible in evidence in any action brought under the provisions of sections eleven, nineteen, twenty-one or twenty-three.