On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, Calvert County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Marjorie Clagett gave her annual presentation on the local court, reiterating why county government’s exodus from the courthouse is urgent. 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 and will be retiring.
“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.”
Judge Clagett said the county’s circuit court has added services and enhanced security recently. With an increase in criminal and civil dockets, the local system now has a mental health docket, a truancy court and continues to see great 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.
New at the courthouse iis 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 Tim Hutchins promised.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon