It was a brilliant idea (though first used in Baltimore) for Mayor Bloomberg to bring to the city: 311 would be a resource for NYC residents to learn more about government doings, that the noises outside were actually fireworks and perhaps wonder where to protest a ticket. However, State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling Cohan (who ruled that gay marriage should be constitutional) just ruled that a call to 311 can mean the a person has grounds for a lawsuit against the city. The basis for this ruling: A gallery owner in Chelsea
(or his insurance company) wants to sue the city for damages, because flooding from city sewers damaged artwork in his gallery on September 8, 2004. On September 26, 2004, Zack Feuer called 311 to complain about
the sewer and catch basins, and on October 1, 2004, Feuer saw city workers cleaning them out. Unfortunately, Feuer's insurance company only filed his claim in July 2005, which is past the usual 90 days the city requires people to file claims against it, but Ling-Cohan said that the 311 call showed the city was aware of the problem, so the lawsuit can proceed. The city is deciding whether to appeal, and you can bet everyone else who is calling 311 is keeping the tracking numbers they get. For instance, you complain to 311 about the noise from the club next door, the noise still doesn't go down, then
you get a note from the doctor saying your hearing is shot and voila, lawsuit!

Do you like 311? Gothamist admits that we're a huge fan. We're totally that meddling Mrs. Kravitz type that complains about potholes and double parking. And Gothamist on 311's second birthday - it'll be three in March, so technically, we're older than it.