Hauptman assigned as appellate court justice

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Justice Robert L. Carter and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced that retired Circuit Court Judge John L. Hauptman has been assigned as an appellate court justice in the Third District.

Hauptman was assigned to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Third District Appellate Court Justice Vicki R. Wright, effective Nov. 30, a news release says. Hauptman’s assignment will take effect on Dec. 1, 2021, through Dec. 4, 2022, following the November 2022 general election.

“I am honored to accept this assignment to the Illinois Appellate Court and so grateful to Justice Carter and his colleagues on the Supreme Court for their trust in me,” Hauptman said in the release. “I look forward to not only the challenges this assignment presents, but also the opportunity to once again serve the judiciary and the people of the State of Illinois.”

Hauptman was appointed to the bench in 1997 as an associate circuit judge in the 14th Judicial Circuit. In 2004, he was elected as circuit judge in Whiteside County, where he served as presiding judge. After being retained for another term in 2010, he retired in December 2016.

During his tenure as Circuit Judge, Judge Hauptman helped organize the first drug court in Whiteside County.

Before joining the bench, Hauptman worked in private practice for more than 10 years as a partner at the law firm of Nelson, Kilgus, Richey and Hauptman, and was previously an assistant state’s attorney in the Whiteside County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Hauptman served on the board of directors of both the Illinois Judges Association and Illinois Judges Foundation and served as president of the IJF in 2017-18.

He earned his bachelor of art from Western Illinois University and his juris doctor from the John Marshall Law School.

The Third Judicial District is composed of 21 counties: Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Kankakee, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, and Will.

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