the contrary, there is a possibility of substantial harm to the Federation and several of its locals if the assistance is abruptly halted by an injunction, and finally, the public interest will be ill served if this court interferes unnecessarily in democratic union decision making.
B. Motion to Vacate Leave to Sue Order
On August 20, 1987, Judge Ackerman granted, ex parte, plaintiffs' application for leave to sue under 29 U.S.C. § 501(b). Section 501(b) provides that "when an officer . . . is alleged to have violated the duties declared in subsection (a) . . . and the labor organization or its governing board or officers refuse or fail to sue . . . after being requested to do so by any member . . . such member may sue such officer . . . No such proceeding shall be brought except upon leave of the court obtained upon verified application and for good cause shown, which application may be made ex parte." 29 U.S.C. § 501(b).
The requirement of section 501(b) that a plaintiff in such an action show "good cause" before being entitled to file the complaint is intended as a safeguard against harassing and vexatious litigation brought without merit or good faith. Horner v. Ferron, 362 F.2d 224, 228 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 958, 17 L. Ed. 2d 305, 87 S. Ct. 397 (1966) (citing Highway Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 107 v. Cohen, 182 F. Supp. 608, 622 n. 10 (E.D. Pa.), aff'd, 284 F.2d 162 (3d Cir. 1960), cert. denied, 365 U.S. 833, 5 L. Ed. 2d 744, 81 S. Ct. 747 (1961)).
The statute explicitly authorizes an ex parte determination of "good cause." The better course, however, is to give union officials an opportunity to show that good cause is lacking so that the court is provided with a complete presentation of the facts and the parties' positions. Dinko v. Wall, 531 F.2d 68, 73 (2d Cir. 1976); O'Connor v. Freyman, 121 L.R.R.M. 2387, 2390 (D.D.C. 1985); Penuelas v. Moreno, 198 F. Supp. 441, 449 (S.D. Cal. 1961). The same procedural result is reached when, as in this case, the district court determines ex parte there is good cause but then allows defendants to move to vacate the order. Dinko, 531 F.2d at 73; O'Connor, 121 LRRM at 2390. The Dinko court explicitly approved of this practice as a means of effectuating the underlying purposes of the section 501(b) "good cause" requirement. Dinko, 531 F.2d at 74.
"Good cause" under section 501(b) has been construed to mean "plaintiff must show a reasonable likelihood of success and, with regard to any material facts he alleges, must have a reasonable ground for belief in their existence." Dinko, 531 F.2d at 75; O'Connor, 121 LRRM at 2390; Local 314 v. National Post Office Mail Handlers, 572 F. Supp. 133, 139 (E.D. Mo. 1983); Sabey v. Steelworkers Local 12230, 113 L.R.R.M. 3603, 3607 (W.D. N.Y. 1982). The court may look beyond the allegations in the complaint and take all the facts and circumstances into consideration in determining whether good cause has been shown. Purcell v. Keane, 406 F.2d 1195, 1200 (3d Cir. 1969). Still, the good cause determination is not meant to "require the resolution of complex questions of law," which should be considered on motion for summary judgment, or "the determination of a genuine issue of material fact," which is beyond the scope of summary judgment. Horner v. Ferron, 362 F.2d 224, 229 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 958, 17 L. Ed. 2d 305, 87 S. Ct. 397 (1966); Dinko, 531 F.2d at 74.
I have had an opportunity to consider the affidavits, exhibits and legal arguments of both plaintiffs and defendants. I conclude plaintiffs have not demonstrated "a reasonable likelihood of success." (See supra pp. 387-89.) I am fully cognizant my determination that good cause has not been shown will extinguish this cause of action. However, the purpose of this threshold requirement in section 501(b) compels this result.
To prevail in their challenge concerning the expenditures at issue, plaintiffs must establish these practices were violative of the Federation's constitution. They must show it is "patently unreasonable" to interpret the constitution as authorizing the financial assistance at issue. See Local 334 v. United Ass'n of Journeymen, 669 F.2d 129, 131 (3d Cir. 1982). The standard is narrow as "courts are reluctant to substitute their judgment for that of union officials in the interpretations of the union's constitution. . . ." Id.
As described above, Article XVIII of the constitution prohibits "special financial assistance" to locals unless it is "uniformly accorded all of the other local unions." Since 1933 when it was added to the constitution this provision has been interpreted as a general prohibition against arbitrary discrimination in the extension of financial assistance to locals. The Federation has made it a practice to provide financial assistance to locals to further legitimate union objectives depending on the particular needs of the requesting locals.
This interpretation and application of Article XVIII is not "patently unreasonable." The Executive Council is given broad authority to expend the funds of the Federation for legitimate union purposes. It would, on the other hand, be unreasonable to prohibit the Federation's governing bodies from basing grants of financial assistance on variable but rational factors. It would be unreasonable to require that the Federation match all grants given to certain locals with equal sums for other locals without considering the particular circumstances of each one. This would hamper rather than further the effective functioning of the Federation.
Plaintiffs have not shown "a reasonable likelihood of success" on the merits of their cause of action against the Federation's officers. Two policies underlie the threshold "good cause" requirement of section 501(b): " supervision of union officials in the exercise of their fiduciary obligations and  protection, through a preliminary screening mechanism, of the internal operation of unions against unjustified interference or harassment." Dinko, 531 F.2d at 75. The dispute which has been brought before me appears to be an internal union matter on which the Convention and Executive Council of the Federation have already acted. The "good cause" requirement of section 501(b) has not been met. Accordingly, Judge Ackerman's ex parte order granting plaintiffs leave to sue must be vacated in order to effectuate the purposes of section 501(b).
C. Motion to Dismiss, or for Postponement for Lack of Service
On August 21, 1987, as part of the Order to Show Cause, Judge Ackerman ordered defendants Bower and Dunne be served by August 25, 1987. On August 31, 1987, defendants filed a motion to dismiss or postpone for lack of service, asserting only Mr. Critelli and Mr. Thomas had been served. In their opposition to this motion, plaintiffs assert all the defendants have been properly served, and that defendants Bower and Dunne were served on September 8, 1987.
Defendants Bower and Dunne have had sufficient notice of this motion because they both submitted affidavits to the court on August 31, 1987. Even though the exact requirements of Judge Ackerman's order were not met, all of the parties' arguments, supporting affidavits and exhibits have been filed and considered. It would serve no purpose to delay the disposition of these motions because of a technical violation which no longer exists.
Because plaintiffs have failed to establish they have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their claim and because they have failed to establish a basis for the grant of an injunction, their motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.
Plaintiffs have also failed to establish "good cause" as required to obtain leave to sue under 29 U.S.C. § 501(b). Therefore, defendants' motion to vacate Judge Ackerman's ex parte order is granted.
Accordingly, this matter is dismissed with prejudice.
SO ORDERED, this 19th day of November, 1987.