Conflict Erupts Between Crofton, MD Orphans’ Court Judges

Judge Alleges Stalking, Discrimination in Court Feud

A tense situation has unfolded within the Orphans’ Court of Crofton, Maryland, as Chief Judge Vickie Gipson has accused Associate Judge Marc Knapp of stalking and discriminatory behavior. The conflict has escalated to the point where a temporary peace order was granted against Knapp, and a final hearing is scheduled for June 3.

Allegations of Aggressive Behavior and Discrimination

According to reports from The Baltimore Banner and The Capital, Gipson alleges that Knapp has exhibited “increasingly aggressive and volatile” behavior, which she believes may stem from discrimination against her as a “Black, Female judge in authority above him.” Knapp, who is white, denied these allegations, claiming that Gipson “decided to play the race card and the gender card.”

The conflict between the two judges has reportedly become so heated that their arguments have led to complaints from others in the office. Knapp told The Banner that he feels excluded from decision-making processes, while Gipson expressed concerns for the well-being of everyone in the office.

The situation escalated to the point where a security guard was assigned to the judges’ chambers, prompting Knapp to start working in the courtroom. On one occasion, Gipson called the police after Knapp refused to leave the courtroom, resulting in officers being present to mediate the situation for the rest of the day.

Court records show that Knapp was charged with one count of stalking, a misdemeanor, on Sunday. The offense is alleged to have occurred between May 2023 and April 2024, with a trial scheduled for July 19.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Orphans’ Court

The Orphans’ Court of Crofton, MD, serves as the probate court for Anne Arundel County. It is responsible for supervising the management of estates for deceased residents. Orphans’ Court judges in the county are elected every four years and serve together on a panel to hear matters.

Gipson has served on the Orphans’ Court since December 2018, while Knapp has been on the court since December 2022.

Ongoing Investigation and Upcoming Hearings

As the investigation into the allegations continues, all eyes will be on the final peace order hearing scheduled for June 3. The temporary peace order requires Knapp to avoid Gipson unless a third party is present, but a full peace order would require a higher burden of proof.

For more details on this developing situation and the accusations involved, readers are encouraged to refer to the comprehensive reports from The Baltimore Banner and The Capital.