John L. Hauptman was born on February 19, 1953 in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1971 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University in 1975.
Judge Hauptman received his Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, and was sworn in as an attorney in the State of Illinois in November 1978. He then began employment with the Whiteside County State’s Attorney.
In 1984 Judge Hauptman became an associate, and later a partner, in the law firm of Nelson, Kilgus, Richey and Hauptman, where he was employed until his appointment to the bench.
On March 1, 1997, Judge Hauptman was appointed by the Circuit Judges of the 14th Judicial Circuit as an Associate Circuit Judge. In 2004, he was elected Circuit Judge in Whiteside County, Illinois. After being retained for another term in 2010, he retired at the end of that term in December 2016.
On December 1, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court assigned Judge Hauptman to the Third District Appellate Court to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Vicki Wright.
During his tenure as Circuit Judge, Hauptman helped organize the first Drug Court in Whiteside County and presided over that court for the better part of two years, until his retirement. He served on the Board of Directors of both the Illinois Judges Association and Illinois Judges Foundation, including serving as president of the foundation in 2017-18.
Judge Hauptman and his wife, Deborah, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Katherine and two grandchildren, Andrew and Charlotte.