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Clagett discusses court, pending retirement

Prince Frederick, MD - Calvert County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Marjorie Clagett (pictured) gave the public an overview of the local court, reiterating why county government’s exodus from the courthouse is urgent. Clagett delivered her State of the Circuit Court for Calvert County during the county commissioners’ Feb. 5 meeting. During her remarks, Clagett, who has been a Circuit Court judge since 1995, noted that she will reach the State of Maryland’s mandatory retirement age for judges in April.

“We are on target with our renovation of the entire courthouse,” said Clagett, adding that when she is required to step down as an administrative judge “we can say mission almost accomplished.”

The county’s circuit court has added services and enhanced security recently, according to the judge. In addition to increases in criminal and civil dockets, the local system now has a mental health docket, a truancy court and continues to see progress with its drug court. Clagett noted that the drug court held its seventh graduation in 2018. Drug or Adult Treatment Court aims to help nonviolent offenders with a diagnosed substance abuse problem achieve sobriety, become productive citizens, provide an alternative to incarceration and reduce both crime and recidivism. Clagett noted one of the program’s graduates is now working as drug counselor at the Calvert County Detention Center.

Technology advances at the courthouse include installation of video and audio equipment that enable witnesses in civil cases to testify from remote locations. Security-wise, active shooter training was offered to courthouse employees in 2018. Clagett also mentioned the building’s aesthetics have been enhanced with additional artwork—including a mural.

The judge again implored the commissioners to come up with a decision that will result in the total vacating of county government from the courthouse. “We will get it done,” Commissioners’ President Thomas E.”Tim” Hutchins [R-District 2] promised.
Clagett’s retirement will create a vacancy on the Calvert County Circuit Court bench. The vacancy has not been formally advertised. There could be two vacancies as another local Circuit Court Judge, Edward Gregory “Greg” Wells is one of 11 candidates on a list for a vacancy on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. According to online state court information, Wells application will be kept in the candidates’ pool until November 2020.

“I have been blessed for 24 years to do a job I live,” said Clagett.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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