(a) If a party to be served with a summons is within this state and can be found, the summons shall be served upon such party personally at least three (3) days before the hearing. If a party is within this state and cannot be found, but such party's address is known or can with reasonable diligence be ascertained, the summons may be served upon such party by mailing a copy by registered or certified mail at least five (5) days before the hearing. If a party is without this state, but such party can be found or such party's address is known, or such party's whereabouts or address can, with reasonable diligence, be ascertained, service of the summons may be made either by delivering a copy to such party personally or mailing a copy to such party by registered or certified mail at least five (5) days before the hearing. If a juvenile in detention is alleged to have violated a valid court order, the parties may waive service of summons upon appearing before the court and receiving a copy of the petition.
(b) If, after reasonable effort, the party cannot be found or such party's post office address ascertained, whether such party is within or without this state, the court may order service of the summons upon such party by publication in accordance with §§ 21-1-203 and §§ 21-1-204. The hearing shall not be earlier than five (5) days after the date of the last publication.
(c) Service of the summons may be made by any suitable person under the direction of the court.
(d) The court may authorize the payment from county funds of the costs of service and of necessary travel expenses incurred by persons summoned or otherwise required to appear at the hearing.
Acts 1970, ch. 600, § 23; 1983, ch. 137, § 2; T.C.A., § 37-223.