Thane Tarsier appeared before Mr. Justice Augustus Dindon in The Park’s Superior Court this morning to plead not guilty to the charge of “Cease to Care.”
Tarsier, who stood alongside his lawyer, Delwyn Terrier, said little in court other than to acknowledge that he understood the charge. When the Justice asked how he intended to plead, Tarsier deferred to his lawyer, who said simply, “We intend to plead not guilty.”
“Cease to Care,” a little-known offence under The Park’s Participation Act, involves the deliberate withholding of one’s name as a candidate for the position of Archon.
According to the rules of zoocracy, all adult Park citizens must confirm their eligibility to stand as candidates for Archon by the end of October. Illness constitutes the only exception to this rule; Animals who are ill and who believe they would be unable to fulfil their duties as Archon due to their illness are required to advise the Department of Political Administration (DPA) of their circumstances by submitting a Form 12.
“Because this was established at the time of zoocracy as an obligation of citizenship, we take it very seriously when Animals refuse to participate,” says DPA spokesAnimal Antoinette Fourmi.
Laying charges against Park citizens is not the DPA’s first step, however.
“We don’t like to involve the Police or the courts,” Fourmi says. “We try to reason with our citizens, to appeal to their sense of duty. But when there is no response, that leaves us with little choice.”
On Friday, after the DPA confirmed that Tarsier had withheld his name wilfully, Park Police laid the charge against him.
Tarsier’s trial will begin after Groundhog Day, according to a spokesAnimal for the courts.