2020 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 11 - Juvenile Code
Article 3 - Dependency Proceedings
Part 6 - Summons and Service
§ 15-11-160. Issuance of Summons

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-11-160 (2020)
  1. The court shall direct the issuance of a summons to a child if such child is 14 years of age or older, such child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, such child's attorney, such child's guardian ad litem, if any, and any other persons who appear to the court to be proper or necessary parties to the proceeding, requiring them to appear before the court at the time fixed to answer the allegations of the petition alleging dependency. A copy of the petition alleging dependency shall accompany the summons unless the summons is served by publication, in which case the published summons shall indicate the general nature of the allegations and where a copy of the petition alleging dependency can be obtained.
  2. A summons shall state that a party is entitled to an attorney in the proceedings and that the court will appoint an attorney if the party is an indigent person.
  3. The court may endorse upon the summons an order directing a child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian to appear personally at the hearing and directing the person having the physical custody or control of a child to bring such child to the hearing.
  4. A party other than a child may waive service of summons by written stipulation or by voluntary appearance at the hearing.

(Code 1981, §15-11-160, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 1-1/HB 242.)

Cross references.

- Amendment to Juvenile Court petition, Uniform Rules for the Juvenile Courts of Georgia, Rule 6.6.

Continuance of adjudicatory hearing in Juvenile Court, Uniform Rules for the Juvenile Courts of Georgia, Rule 11.3.

Law reviews.

- For article discussing due process in juvenile court procedures in California and Georgia, in light of In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1967), see 8 Ga. St. B. J. 9 (1971).


Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1933, § 24A-1701, pre-2000 Code Section 15-11-26 and pre-2014 Code Section 15-11-39, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section. See the Editor's notes at the beginning of the chapter.

Parent's right to appeal delinquency adjudication.

- As parties to their child's delinquency action pursuant to former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-39(b) (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-160,15-11-423, and15-11-530), the child's parents had the right to appeal the juvenile court's judgment and to participate in the appellate process. In the Interest of J.L.B., 280 Ga. App. 556, 634 S.E.2d 514 (2006) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-39).

Proceeding null when no waiver of rights nor proper service.

- If, in a juvenile court proceeding, there was neither waiver of the right of a mother, nor proper service upon the parties and if the hearing is not taken under oath, or waived by any of the parties, the proceeding is an absolute nullity. McBurrough v. Dep't of Human Resources, 150 Ga. App. 130, 257 S.E.2d 35 (1979) (decided under former Code 1933, § 24A-1701).

No fixed date on summons.

- Summons served upon a parent did not have to require the parent to appear in court on any fixed date in order to answer allegations in a petition to terminate the parent's parental rights. In re W.R.S., 213 Ga. App. 616, 445 S.E.2d 367 (1994) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-26).

If there was no service of process and notice as required by former O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-26(b) and15-11-27(a) (see now O.C.G.A. § 15-1-1 et seq.) and there was no valid waiver of notice of the pending charge by service of process or otherwise, the entire hearing is a nullity. In re W.M.F., 180 Ga. App. 397, 349 S.E.2d 265 (1986) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-26).

Waiver of right to prior notice of charge.

- If neither the juvenile nor the mother were represented by counsel at the dispositional hearing, neither party knew the nature of the charge filed against the minor, and neither party knew of the serious consequences which may result in the case of an adverse adjudication of the petition filed against the juvenile, it is highly unlikely that the parties understood the significance of waiving their right to prior notice of the pending charge. In re W.M.F., 180 Ga. App. 397, 349 S.E.2d 265 (1986) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-26).

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