A trial where there is no jury. The judge must determine all questions of law and also be the trier of fact. see, e.g. Lewis v. United States, 518 US 322 (1996). (Wex) Civil Rights: Civil Right is a legal right or privilege under the Constitution of the United States. Civil rights include: Freedom of Speech Freedom of the Press Freedom of Assembly The Right to Vote Freedom from Involuntary Servitude, Right to equality in public places Certain groups and classes are protected by civil rights laws preventing discrimination based on race, sex, age, religion, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin and in some instances, sexual preference. (Summarized from Wex Law)
A bench trial in the U.S. is a trial before a judge in which the right to a jury trial has been waived by the necessary parties. In the case of a criminal trial, in most states the criminal defendant alone has the ability to waive the right to a jury; in a civil trial, the parties to the dispute must agree to waive their right to a jury.